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Religious Communities

The Church of England Year Book includes listings for Anglican Religious Communities based in England.

Browse all Religious Communities in England

Browse Religious Communities for Men

Browse Religious Communities for Women

Browse Mixed Religious Communities

Coordinating Bodies for Religious Communities

About Anglican Religious Communities

The roots of the Religious Life can be traced back to the Early Church in Jerusalem, and the subsequent traditions such as the Benedictines, Franciscans, etc., were flourishing in England until the Reformation when all were suppressed.

Most Anglican Communities were founded in the nineteenth century as a result of the Oxford Movement. There are over eighty different Communities in the British Isles and throughout the Anglican Communion. Some are very small. Some have over 100 members worldwide.

Religious Communities are formed by men and women who feel called to seek God and live out their baptismal vows in a particular way under vows. There are over 400 Anglican men and women living this life in the United Kingdom.

Prayer and work

Each Community has its own history and character; some follow one of the traditional Rules, and others those written by more recent founders, but all have one thing in common: their daily life based on the work of prayer and living together centred in their Daily Office and the Eucharist. The work grows from the prayer, depending on the particular Community and the gifts of its members.

Some Communities are ‘enclosed’. The members do not normally go out, but remain within the convent or monastery and its grounds, seeking and serving God through silence and prayer, study and work. Other Communities share the basic life of prayer and fellowship and are involved in a variety of work in society at large.


Most Community houses offer a place where people can go for a time of Retreat, either alone or with a group, for a day, several days, or occasionally for longer periods of time. They offer a place of quiet to seek God, grow in prayer and find spiritual guidance.

The Calling

People who feel called to the Religious Life and who wish to apply to a Community need to be over 21. They normally need to be physically and psychologically robust. Academic qualifications are not essential. There is a training period of about three years before any vows are taken.

Those who are considering a vocation are advised to visit Community houses to experience their particular ethos: further information is available from the houses or general enquiries may be made to Anglican Religious Communities  (info@arcie.org.uk).