Matt Long announced as Novice Guardian for the Community of the Tree of Life


As our Community of the Tree of Life prepares to welcome its first novices in January next year, Bishop Martyn is delighted to announce the appointment of Matt Long to be the Novice Guardian.


As Novice Guardian, Matt will be part of the Community’s senior management team with the Prior and the Warden. His role will be organising the teaching and learning components of the formation year; and coordinating the novices’ service in prayer, mission and justice.


To read more about the Community, how Christians of any denomination aged 20-35-years-old can apply to be a novice for a year, and to follow it on social media, click here.


Matt and his family spent five years as full time missionaries in France with the Bless Network, living in intentional Christian community in an old cider farm in Normandy that was a centre for missional training and prayer. He was responsible for establishing a daily rhythm of community prayer and shared meals whilst mentoring and supporting the young interns who came to France for short-term mission trips.

Matt trained in Theology, Youth and Community Work at St John’s Nottingham and served in two churches before the move to France. He has a passion for creative prayer and has coordinated the Prayer House at Spring Harvest and Prayer Spaces at Youthwork the Conference for several years.


Most recently, he has been doing pioneering work with a homelessness charity called House of Bread in Stafford where he has transformed an unused piece of grassland into a fruitful, award winning community garden.


Matt writes, “I am passionate about planting places of prayer and have spent the last 15 years inspiring emerging generations to pray like it all depends on God and live like it all depends on them. I’m so excited to join the Community of the Tree of Life and to see what happens as we align ourselves with God-at-work in Leicester. I am married to Rebekah and have three kids. I am energised by quiet corners, coastal walks and the creativity of the city. I enjoy slow food, good coffee and craft beer.”


Bishop Martyn commented, “Matt will bring real energy, wisdom and experience to our new community. I am so pleased that he has agreed to make this step of faith and join the growing team of people laying the foundations for this new venture.”


Matt and his family will move to Leicester over the summer and will become part of the Companion Community. Matt will start work in September and assist with the recruitment of novices and preparation for the Seed Community starting in early 2019.

First published on: 1st August 2019
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