Hand in Hand was formed in 1994, when a small group of adults, some with learning disabilities and some without, from the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton, began to meet regularly, with the aim of discovering Christ’s presence in and among us, and then bringing this to others in a prayerful way, using all types of drama and movement. Throughout this time we were encouraged and supported by the Fountains Centre, run by the Diocesan Adviser for Learning Disabilities, with whom we continued to maintain close links until its closure. From the beginning the group has been interdenominational and integrated, where everyone is included on an equal basis, in such a way that we are mutually enriched by each other’s gifts.
Since then the group has grown both spiritually and as a community. We have developed particularly our gifts for mime and movement as a type of contemplative way of praying beyond the limitation of words. We have come to see ourselves primarily as a group whose prayer and sharing produces a sense of fun, friendship and love between us and where our use of movement etc. is seen by others as a powerful expression of our relationship with God, which touches their hearts.
Every Spring, Hand in Hand enjoys a weekend residential retreat which enables us to deepen our friendship with Jesus and with each other.
We meet monthly to pray together and we have gladly responded to invitations from churches, schools or groups to celebrate special events or themes in various liturgies or workshops, not only within the Diocese of Arundel & Brighton, but also beyond.
Past involvement has included celebrations at Aylesford, Roehampton, Walsingham, Birmingham, Westminster Cathedral as well as the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes and visits to Carmelite convents in Dublin and Mazille, France and the Cistercian Sisters at Holy Cross Abbey in Whitland, South Wales.