Of all the career choices open to young people, entering a religious community must come fairly near the bottom of the list. Yet the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has set up a new community based at Lambeth Palace for young Christian people from all over the world. About 500 started the application and 16 have been chosen. They will have the opportunity to live in the Palace for a year, experiencing a daily round of prayer, silence and work. They will be supported by another 20 who will share some of the community life while continuing with their jobs. Religious orders have been in steep numerical decline since the 1960s, but in recent years new communities like the Archbishop's, have emerged. So what is this new movement all about? Could it be bucking a cultural trend? Will it bring new life to the church?
Ernie Rea is joined by Mark Berry, a member of "Safespace," a new monastic community in Telford; Sister Dr Gemma Simmonds, Director of the Religious Life Institute, Heythrop College, London and a Trustee of the new St Anselm's Community at Lambeth Palace; and Dr Abby Day Senior Research Fellow in the Anthropology of Sociology and Religion at The University of Kent.
Producer: Nija Dalal-Small.