If you are interested in the charism of COLW and feel drawn to the lay branch of our Ecclesial Family, you may wish to read our simple Rule of Life that was recently approved.
You are also welcome to chat about this branch of COLW by emailing the leader of the lay branch, Elizabeth Sudlow (right with her family), who will be happy to explore the charism with you. The charism is what makes any ecclesial family or religious congregation distinct from all the others.
You can also become part of the lay branch within which you can further discern a vocation to priesthood and vowed or married life (within COLW or elsewhere). This is often the case with young adults who wish to take the call to holiness seriously by being part of a community, even before making a life choice.
At the centre of our lives in the COLW lay branch is the desire to live in faithfulness to God’s call. We aim to become like Mary a house of God, a hearer of the Word and a bearer of the Spirit. We wish to enter with the whole Community into a bond of spiritual communion and fraternal assistance, in order to be nourished by the COLW’s own grace and to enable it in its mission.
If this is something that attracts you, the best way forward in discerning a vocation to the lay branch, is to begin by attending the series of Walsingham Spirituality retreats offered by the sisters at Dowry House In Walsingham – there is the option of doing these via zoom. These weekends will enable you to understand what the charism of COLW consists of. They also offer essential time for reflection, an initial opportunity for personal growth and a deepening of our understanding of God’s individual call to each of our hearts as he leads us on our vocational journey.
If you were to continue to pursue this path with us, we would also put you in touch with our COLW lay groups. If there is not a group nearby, we have a developing network of individuals and families who are also discerning their involvement with the community, and we can put you in touch with them via email.
After this initial formation, those who then continue to discern their vocation in the lay branch, follow an individually planned path of more in-depth formation. As we grow more aware of our calling and develop our sense of the contemplative dimension of COLW, all of us in the lay branch continue our daily lives as usual in our homes, places of work and local parish settings.
Further membership of COLW as a lay member comes thereafter in stages. A temporary promise is renewable for up to four years. Ultimately a final, permanent promise is made to live the charism in full membership of this new ecclesial family as a lay person.