Last month, L’Arche Communities around the UK gathered in Liverpool to reflect on, and celebrate, all that is good about our shared lives.

We thanked John Sargent for his leadership of L’Arche in the UK during the last twelve years and welcomed our new National Leader, Loren Treisman.

The Liverpool Community were fantastic hosts, welcoming us to their wonderful city with gusto. On Saturday evening we danced until the late hours to a Beatles tribute band!

During the weekend we gave thanks for John’s service to L’Arche, of more than thirty years, and for his leadership during the last 12 years.

As our new National Leader Loren - who will join us in September - was welcomed with applause, she shared: “I’m really looking forward to being part of such an incredibly special organisation. I’m going to listen, I’m going to learn. I’m excited about driving the mandate forward because it’s not just about my vision - it’s about all of us.”

On Saturday afternoon we joined together at Our Lady and Saint Nicholas Church for a service of thanksgiving led by the Bishop of Liverpool, the Rt Revd Paul Bayes. On Sunday morning we came together in our Communities for the washing of the feet, led movingly by members of L’Arche who started the practice many years ago and which has since become an integral part of our identity.

As we said our goodbyes to each other, there was a sense of having been uplifted by our time together and a reaffirmation of the value of community and belonging.