We believe in significant relationships
Being With is about sharing stories about our lives and hearing the stories of others. These stories are the small things that mean a lot to us and they can also be the most challenging and life changing moments of our lives. There’s a space for every person’s life in this course.
The course is based on the belief that to find the meaning of life we need each other. We need to spend time being present and attentive to others who may be different to us and to ourselves and the world around us. As we do this we can discover a way to be attentive to God and discover that God is present to us.
The Being With course began with 12 people in a room after a service at St Martin-in-the-Fields in January 2020. Before that there had been an announcement at a couple of carol services a month earlier, inviting people to explore the Christian faith, or to take another look after a time away. Before that there’d been a long train ride from London to Edinburgh in which Sally Hitchiner and I shared our desire to deepen the way we shared faith at St Martin’s, our learnings from and reservations about courses currently available, and our excitement at translating the theology that had proved so significant at St Martin’s and influential elsewhere into a course introducing people to Christianity. The heart of the course lies in Sally’s experience of having run countless enquirers’ courses previously, and her desire on coming to St Martin’s to offer a course that shared the theological outlook that she had found so liberating, that had drawn her to St Martin’s, and that she saw as the dynamic heart of the community.
One additional beginning was on 22 March 2020, when we took the course onto an online conference platform, and began to learn the new dimension that online discovery could bring. That day we discussed the cross, and one participant, having evaluated understandings she’d encountered in other settings against the version she was now being offered, broke down and said, ‘Why did no one tell me this before?’ That day, the day before lockdown began in England, we discovered that online meeting could be an asset and not just a deficit, and we saw with our own eyes the way this course could change lives for good.
The course is a statement of faith that the Holy Spirit works in our lives and that in Jesus’ story we behold God’s gift of and pattern for abundant life.
We have had so much joy in discovering this course. Our prayer is that such joy is shared by those who lead it and participate in it in the years to come.
Who we are
Revd Dr Sam Wells
As well as being vicar of St Martin-in-the-Fields, Sam is a globally recognized academic theologian who specializes in theology that is immersed in real life. His writing about Being With is celebrated by archbishops and professors in the most prestigious universities in the world.
Revd Sally Hitchiner
Reverend Sally Hitchiner is Associate Vicar at St Martin-in-the-Fields where she oversees the congregations and theological life of the church as well as sitting on the senior team working with the business, fundraising and charitable parts of St Martins. Prior to her work at St Martins Sally led a large multi-faith chaplaincy team at a large multinational university and has extensive experience in the national media. She was the Founder of Diverse Church, a support network for LGBTQI+ Christians.