Who We Are

We are an internet-based, Inter-denominational Christian Convergent Community, drawing our spirituality from the “Early Church” (33-600AD), in particular, Celtic Christian spirituality. We consider our Community to be part of the “Ancient-Future” Mathew 13:52– do we have a reference for where this expression comes from? Church, blending the old with the new.

The Ark Community celebrating together with Agape Community, UK.


We believe in ONE Holy Universal Christian Church, consisting of ALL Believers, professing Jesus Christ as the only means to salvation, regardless of denomination. Denomination is your chosen expression, not your religion!


We acknowledge, celebrate and combine all the Christian Streams, blending them into ONE unified Christian experience. Diversity is the basis for true unity and completeness. Without each other’s diversity, we lack completeness. The diverse spiritual traditions actually complement each other: they were never meant to oppose each other.

The great spiritual streams are:

– Contemplative

– Holiness

– Charismatic

– Social Justice

– Evangelical

– Sacramental & Liturgical


We are an international community of Christians, coming together to form intimate relationships based upon a common spiritual pilgrimage. We are not a “local church”, nor do we attempt to substitute it. However, we are a vital organ within the Body as we desire to serve the universal Church by offering a common walk towards Christian transformation for those who join our Community.

Together we walk into eternity!

In brief, we are a Christian inter-denominational community who believe in Jesus’ example of the “Good Samaritan” as an expression of true faith.

As a community, we are dedicated to the establishing and development of a Christian Community that actually reaches out to others. We do not want to remain inside our Church walls and keep Jesus and His abundant life to ourselves. We want to share His life on the streets, where He gave it away! Rob Bell says, “The Gospel is good news, especially for those who don’t believe it.” Our changed lives should make a difference to all those we meet.

As a Community, our primary aim is to live Christ beyond our church walls. This can be seen in our five main priorities:

  1. Assist and encourage personal “practical” transformation (How do we live Christ-likeness today?).
  2. Establish and develop an International Inter-denominational Christian Community
  3. Working closely with the Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic churches worldwide, we seek to support the worldwide task of reconciliation between the various Christian Churches:
  4. Orphan care (should we say ‘through our support of Acres of love’?)
  5. Support Church planting.


As Tony says, “We tolerate without compromise in order to co-operate without division”.

The Ark Community follows the spirituality of the early Celtic Christian Church in Britain and Ireland. Many of our Companions (Community members), are contemplatives at heart. We seek to follow the example of a simple faith, lived in the spirit of Community. It is our common deep desire to know Christ in an intimate and experiential way. The early Celtic Christian Church was based upon small intimate Communities, conducive to both discipleship and Christian transformation. We as a Community have adopted this “rule of life” and endeavour to live in Christ’s presence as much as possible within our busy modern lives. As vessels of His glory, we seek to make the secular sacred.

Our Founders

In 2002 in South Africa, Tony and Emiliana Palmer founded the Ark Community. The community was based on a small group of committed friends from various churches united by a common commitment to Christ and His purposes. Discipleship and personal transformation are at the heart of the community.

Tony was born in the UK and moved to South Africa as a teenager. Emiliana is Italian and met Tony when she and her family were living in South Africa. Together with their children, Daniel and Gabriella, they now live in Trowbridge, Wiltshire.

Tony is an ordained Minister, ordained by the Anglican/Episcopal Church, within the CEEC (Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches). He relates directly to his Archbishop, Robert Wise as his Canon to Church Unity Affairs (www.theceec.org). Our Community is also consecrated within the CEEC as an Inter-denominational Christian Community, and enjoys much input from Father Robert’s wisdom.

Tony is initially trained as a Medical Underwriter (Med. Dip. 1987), with further specialised studies in HIV/AIDS management (WITS University Medical School, RSA). He accepted his vocation to full-time Ministry in 1993 and then studied for 3 years at a Christian College (Rhema Bible Training Centre, RSA). He has also completed a short course in Biblical Archaeology and Biblical Studies (UNISA University, RSA), has a Masters Degree in Philosophy, “College of Theology” (St. Alcuin’s Seminary, USA), and has an English Teachers Certificate from Cambridge University, UK (CELTA).

Tony is currently busy with his Doctorate Degree in “Early Church” studies (33-600 A.D), with a particular interest in the Community life of the early Celtic Church.

Emiliana also completed 3 years of Biblical Studies at the same Christian College (RBTC), and also holds a Cambridge English Teachers Certificate (CELTA). Together, Emiliana and Tony had the privilege of serving as Directors for Kenneth and Gloria Copeland, KCM RSA, and Tony served as Development Director at Acres of Love (www.acresoflove.org), providing homes for abandoned HIV/AIDS babies and children.