There are many ways to be in relationship with Corrymeela. We seek to work with all people of good will to transform division through human encounter. You can volunteer with us, support us by becoming a Friend of Corrymeela, or partner with us in the work that we do. And, of course, you can always visit us as part of a programmed group or through one of our Open Events.
We invite those who feel led to commit themselves to the work of peace and reconciliation to consider membership.
The Corrymeela Community was begun in 1965 by Ray Davey who saw the need for an ecumenical Christian witness in a place where Christianity was fractured and divided. Since 1965, people in their ordinary lives have committed to meeting monthly; to participating in community weekends three times a year; to supporting the work of the residential centre in Ballycastle with time, finances and professional skills; to prayer; and, most importantly, to better relationships.
The Corrymeela Community has over 170 members, of all ages, of all approaches to Christianity. Some are devout, some are sceptical, some wish to dwell on the edges of faith, others find faith at their core.
Whether or not members comfortably identify as ‘Christian,’ our witness is inspired by a desire to be Christ–like. We expect to find fellow children of God in our encounters with strangers. We believe that reconciliation with others and with the earth is at the heart of the gospel. And we view unconditional love as a divine response to the madness of being human.
Members commit to a number of things:
• Daily prayer (we have a small prayer book where we reflect on a text and pray for members)
• Monthly gatherings (home groups, monthly seminars, prayer times).
• Three community weekends per year (early January, late April, early October)
• Supporting the work of the Corrymeela residential centre in Ballycastle financially, with time and professional support.
• Being a community presence at the Corrymeela centre.
• Being part of an open, inclusive Christian community committing to work for a society whose priorities are justice, mutual respect, the participation of all, concern for the vulnerable and the stranger, stewardship of resources, and the care for creation.
That is all to say that along with maintaining the Corrymeela Centre in Ballycastle, members of Corrymeela promise to act as ‘centres of peace and reconciliation’ wherever they live, work and worship.
We have a few members outside the island of Ireland, but because our commitment focuses on gathering together, and participating in the work at the Ballycastle centre, members tend to be from this island.
We have monthly house groups that meet in six locations: Belfast, Newtownabbey, Bangor, Ballycastle, Lisburn, South Down and Dublin. We also have a short Taizé–like gathering in Belfast each month called Corrymeela in the City.
The Corrymeela Community is led by Alexander Wimberly, who followed Pádraig Ó Tuama in the role in August of 2019. Alex is Presbyterian minister with a doctorate in history from the University of Notre Dame. Although he considers himself a pastor more than a scholar, Alex has done extensive research on how the Christian idea of ‘reconciliation’ has proven divisive at times. As Leader, Alex works with the Executive Director and with the membership to ensure that ‘Corrymeela’ is not only associated with a beautiful place and an life–changing experience –– but that it is a movement that transforms division through better relationships.
We are welcoming provisional members for 2021. If you are interested, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Provisional members should have some familiarity with Corrymeela already, either through a relationship with a current member or through exposure to our work at the centre or with our programme staff. Each provisional member is ‘sponsored’ by a current member. Sponsors introduce the provisional membership to the community and help introduce Corrymeela to the individual. Provisional members can treat their provisional year as a ‘trial run’ –– testing out whether commitment to the community makes sense for them.
The timeframe is:
• Meet with the leader of the Corrymeela Community by Sept 2020 to discuss your interest.
• January 2021 dedication service. (afternoon of 10th January 2021, Ballycastle)
• January–December 2021: a provisional year of membership where you engage in a number of Corrymeela events to consider if membership is for you.
• For those who wish to become full members, they make this commitment (on a yearly basis) beginning in January 2022.
Corrymeela is people. We are young people, middle–aged and old people, we are people of doctrine and people of doubt. We engage with the differences of our world. We disagree with each other, and we seek to disagree agreeably. We know we’re part of the problems of the world. We work hard to be part of the solution. We are people of prayers and protest, curiosity and questioning, work and learning.
Fuller details on Membership, Pastoral Care and the structure of the Community can be downloaded below.
We are Corrymeela. And you are always welcome.