We met in March 2010 and married in November the same year in what was something of a whirlwind romance!

We had both tried religious life several years before, Lizzie as a member of COLW in its first year and Brian for several years in the USA and Switzerland. From early on in our married life together, we felt that being close to a praying community was important for our vocation as a family. Even during our honeymoon in Paris, a chance discovery of the Community of Jerusalem reminded Lizzie of the hopes that she had always had of seeing COLW blossom one day into an ecclesial family with lay as well as consecrated members. A decade later, we are really happy to be part of the first group in formation as lay members of the Community.

What attracts us to COLW is its gift of joy which finds its roots in the mystery of the Annunciation. Joy is one of the acts of divine love, alongside peace and mercy. We feel especially drawn to the model of the Holy House of Walsingham as an inspiration to help us shape our own family life, together with our three small children, and with the various guests, passers-by and random blow-ins who seem to cross our threshold with some regularity!

Not that we are in control of the story. We are just trying to follow the Author’s creative cues, knowing that the story He has written for us as a couple (and as a family) will bring us more joy than anything we could have written solely by ourselves. Now, in COLW we feel part of an ever-growing family with the religious sisters, priest associates and other lay members, and the onward journey looks less daunting.

May what the Lord began in us long before we met – and has since sustained in us through the blessings of marriage and children – Himself bring to completion in His own good time in COLW.