Details about Community
As members of the Community we each make Sheldon our home, make a commitment to the shared life of the Community and have a defined role serving in the charity's ministry. The details of the shape of our lives varies as we adapt together to needs and circumstances.
Modest living quarters are provided as part of our remuneration including at least one private room plus bathroom and kitchen facilities which may be either independent or shared. The basic running costs of heating, lighting and maintaining our living quarters are covered by the charity. There is a mix of our own personal furnishings and equipment and ones that the charity has provided for us. Living at Sheldon is a requirement for Community members for the fulfilment of our roles.
All our food is also provided as part of our remuneration. A few regular meals we share together as a Community and some are shared with guests as part of our ministry of hospitality. At other times we cook for ourselves individually. Some of our food is bought in bulk, we each have a small patch of vegetable garden we can cultivate, and we share regular supermarket deliveries.
Our pattern of prayer includes daily midweek morning and evening communal services shared with guests. The Eucharist is celebrated about once a month. A time of sharing and prayer private to the community is held one evening a week. We share a short retreat together each year. Sheldon is the place where we inhabit and express our membership of church. Provision is available for those who wish to attend services in local churches up to once a month but the nature of our life and work means that engaged membership of a local congregation is not practical.
Our standard working week is 6 days. We have one evening a week for Community time, an average of 3 evenings where we are on call and work a couple of hours, and the other 3 are free to do as we please. All members have a standard 5.6 weeks of paid holiday allowance, with additional days accruing with longer service. Our working time includes Community meetings and some shared activities that are recreational. If a member is signed unfit for work, their personal allowance continues to be paid and the charity receives the statutory sick pay. We have a history of providing generous leave in response to needs such as bereavement. We each make a commitment for a fixed number of years, which can be renewed by mutual agreement, and we aim to foster vocations for longer terms of service. We make additional financial provision for members who serve 10 years or more and then wish to retire/resettle away from Sheldon, or wish to make Sheldon their home during their later years. We each have a role description which is reviewed each year. The general pattern is for people to deepen their expertise in one particular area while also assisting in others. Roles can sometimes change significantly, especially in response to changes in the ministry, changes in the size and shape of the team, or changes in the capacity of the member.
Some of us receive a personal allowance with Class A National Insurance contributions paid (net value currently £740/month), and some are self-supporting through pensions.
Many of our other living expenses are covered in kind, such as shared access to laundry facilities and cars. (Members may bring their own car but are responsible for covering the running costs and are expected to put other community members on their insurance.) Those receiving a personal allowance have a proportion diverted to a common account which allows us to pay for shared activities and for an element of redistribution according to need. We are part of the government NEST pension scheme with additional contributions above the minimum made as longer service is accrued.