St. Mungo's Guild L'Arche Housing - 19 November 2018
|St. Mungo's Guild
welcomed Lady Faye Clerk of Penicuik House on Monday 19 November to
present her work with the L'Arche Housing project. |
Communities is a global organisation that supports people with learning
disabilities all over the world. Today there are more than one hundred
and forty L’Arche communities in thirty-five countries around the
world from Belgium to Brazil, Uganda to the United States. More than
three and a half thousand people with learning disabilities are
currently supported by L’Arche.
There are twelve
L’Arche Communities in the UK. The first Community opened in 1974
in Kent and our newest Community opened in Manchester in 2013. In each
Community, they offer high quality, person-centred support for adults
with learning disabilities.
the diversity, uniqueness and differing needs of each person, some
individuals are supported in their own homes for a few hours per week,
while others are supported twenty-four hours a day in their assisted
L’Arche Communities are vibrant places of
welcome, belonging and celebration. As an organisation they are
committed to providing people with learning disabilities the
opportunities and support they need to lead fulfilling and empowered
Faye became involved in community projects when she and
Sir Robert lived near Elgin on the Moray Firth. This led to an
involvement with L'Arche in Inverness, which she has continued
following the family move to Penicuik.
heard of the L'Arche founder Jean Vanier, the son of a former
Governor General of Canada. In 1964, Jean became aware of the
plight of thousands of people with learning disabilities who were
institutionalised in France. In that same year he took the radical step
of inviting two men, Raphael Simi and Philippe Seux, to leave the
institution where they lived and share their lives with him. Together
they began L’Arche in a small house in Trosly-Breuil, France.
Reaching Edinburgh in 1991 the first L'Arche shared houses was at
Skein, Restalrig, followed in 1995 by Creelha.
the Edinburgh 'houses' included Mike and his wife Maria who both met
whilst working for L'Arche, Mike in Scotland, Maria in New Zealand.
Mike told us of the work in Edinburgh and the links to the church,
telling us of the Easter Good Friday walk where residents of the house
walked with cross on shoulder across Leith Links to the church. This
long journey was intersperced with prayer stops, and singing. Ingrid,
one of the residents, told us of their journey, how she feels in the
house, and with the help of her carer Miriam, how she values the
relationships and friends around her in the house.
interesting and often touching presentation from Lady Clerk and the
team, shows how religious beliefs, not only Christianity, play an
important part to help support those with learning difficulties
that otherwise would struggle to live in our fast paced modern world.
Guild leader Agnes Ovenstone offered a vote of thanks to Lady Clerk and the team for their enlightening talk.
You can findout more about L'Arche at www.larche.org.uk/ and the