This introduction is taken from the web page of Friends of Augustine (Augustinian Friends) in England and Scotland.
Friends of Augustine reaches out to lay people, as well as religious, within the Order of Saint Augustine.
As the year 2000 approached, two things were becoming clear: First, if religious life were to survive, then it would have to change.
Second, lay Christians were busy exploring new models of community, which were relevant and accessible to men and women engaged in the secular world.
So during 16th to 21st July 1999, in Rome, the Augustinian Order hosted an international meeting of lay Augustinians.
From this, a vision emerged of an international communion of groups and individuals who are trying to live a spiritual tradition that is both Augustinian and also relevant to the concerns of Christians in the 21st century.
In 1999, those who attended the Rome meeting joined a retreat in Clare, and agreed on a Mission Statement. Groups were then formed in Carlisle, Birmingham and London.
Under the leadership of Deacon Nigel Bavidge, Hinsley Hall, Leeds, national meetings have taken place every other year and valuable notes of presentation papers have circulated.
Friends of Augustine is the English and Scottish group which grew out of the Rome experience.
Open and non-hierarchical, Friends of Augustine includes friars and religious, but is led by the concerns of lay people and their need for community within their own lives.
Friends of Augustine is engaged in developing an Augustinian spiritual tradition for today.
Among the local groups are those committed to study, prayer and meditation, music, friendship, the encouragement of a more youthful, people centred liturgy, and a concern for justice.
The idea is that these groups will resource each other, and the network at large, by the exchange of news and ideas.
This will help the members to expand their experience and understanding of Augustinian community, learning and spiritual tradition.