In the late 1970s, a group of punk rockers living in Maltby, South Yorkshire was invited by the local parish priest, Fr May, to provide music for a Mass at the parish prayer group.
While they were practising for the Mass, they got to know one of the younger members of the prayer group, Rosarii—now a Carmelite nun. She talked to them about God’s love and eventually the lads asked Fr May for a blessing. God blessed their request and they had a life-changing encounter with Jesus.
The lads started a young people’s prayer group and other young people living in and around Maltby soon joined them. They wanted to “do something” in thanks for God’s love as revealed in Jesus Christ, the Saviour, and they asked Fr May to write them a ‘Rule’. The prayer group began to evolve into a community.
After watching the film “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” they were inspired by the story of St. Francis of Assisi and they chose the name Maltfriscans – MALTby FRancISCANS – sometimes shortened to ‘friscans,
Years later, the community has become an eclectic group of mixed ages, from new-born to almost 90, with many families, a smattering of clergy and a lively gang of young people and young adults.
During the year, we try to live by the Maltfriscan Rule and meet up in small groups when we can, but our highlight is the Chapter of Mats – the annual gathering of the Maltfriscan community – where we meet to praise God, to love and to serve each other, to discern and to make decisions for the good order of our community. The name comes from the meeting of St. Francis and his brothers in Assisi, when they had nowhere to stay, so they slept on mats.