On 30th October Companions of the Melanesian Brotherhood in the Diocese of Exeter organised a service for St Simon and St Jude at St Andrew’s Feniton and then walked the new Patteson’s Way pilgrimage route.
The Melanesian Brotherhood is an Anglican religious community based primarily in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Papua New Guinea. The Brotherhood aims to live the Gospel in a direct and simple way following Christ’s example of prayer, mission and service. The Brothers take the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. These are not life vows but for a period of five years, which can be renewed. They train for three years as Novices and make their vows as Brothers at the Feast of St Simon and St Jude. Companions, who promise to pray for and support the Brotherhood, held their service as 52 Novices became Brothers at the religious community’s headquarters at Tabalia in the Solomon Islands. There are 30 Companions to the Brotherhood in Devon and 80 more across the UK.
After the service the Companions and supporters walked the 8-mile circular Patteson’s Way led by Companion Simon Franklin, visiting Alfington, Ottery St Mary, Patteson’s Cross and back to Feniton.
One of the pilgrims, Mary Lorimer from Tale, said: “We really enjoyed our walk along the Patteson’s Way on Saturday. It was lovely to have the opportunity to take some time out from our usual everyday lives to spend a few hours appreciating our beautiful East Devon countryside, meeting other people and learning about – and from – the life of Bishop Patteson. When we returned to Feniton we felt as though we had been away much longer, as we had had such an informative and interesting afternoon. It really was a very refreshing break.”
Earlier in October Chester Companions gathered at Foxhill for their Eucharist, meeting and to admit three new Companions.
A prayer for the Melanesian Brotherhood –
ALMIGHTY God, your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
by obeying you and offering himself, has shown us the true way of service;
may the men of the Melanesian Brotherhood serve you in the way that he did,
showing faithful love and being true to you alone,
so that, by your power, the work they are called to do may bear good fruit,
and make your loving plan for all mankind come true,
to the glory of your name; through the same your Son our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and rules with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.
A prayer for Companions to the Melanesian Brotherhood –
Strengthen, O God, we pray you,
all Companions of the Brotherhood,
here in this place, around the UK and across Melanesia,
that we may faithfully keep our promises and daily service to you in good works.
Make us to be of one heart and mind,
and to show others the love that comes from you.
Let all that Jesus commanded his Church to be
to us as a light that never goes out,
And our glad obedience as fire that is always burning,
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour
For more information on the Melanesian Brotherhood or on becoming a Companion, contact the charity.