"Cloistered in Simplicity"

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Our History & Present Day


Little Gidding Church

Our Community was originally begun by Deacon Nicholas Ferrar at Little Gidding in England in 1626, and it lasted until 1646 when the Puritans broke up the Community or until 1657 when the last two members died, depending on how you prefer to date its dissolution. The community was always small and never had more than a few members, most of which were part of Ferrar’s own family.

It was revived in the 1970’s and that community ended in the 1990’s. There is still a group in England called ‘The Friends of Little Gidding’ that look after the historic site and publish books relevant to both the community and the site.

Although small and short-lived, the Community of Christ the Sower is significant in Anglican history and spirituality. It was the first community founded after the dissolution of the monasteries during the reign of Henry VIII, and was founded specifically for ‘persons of regular station in life’ - folks who worked for a living and believed that the grace of the Holy Spirit could mold them in monastic community despite the secular demands made on their time.

This idea, that average people could form a community based on religious principles and fellowship, was considered revolutionary in its day. Up until then the only people thought competent to study Sacred Scripture and share monastic fellowship were the monks and nuns who lived in monasteries and convents. Members of the Community were known throughout the land for their piety and profound commitment to both regular prayer and to the Bible. They produced harmonies of the Gospels that survive today as a testament to their fine work and dedication to the preservation and study of holy writ. <>

As stated above, the original Community disbanded in 1646/1657, and that the second Community disbanded in the 1990’s. Like this second group, we have re-appropriated the Little Gidding charism as we believe we have been led by the Lord; we embrace its gentle approach to formation and its pastoral character. Because we are not a residential community only, we have prayerfully chosen to incorporate the Rule of St. Benedict into our practice as an underpinning, to provide the structure needed to keep Community over long distances. We chose the Rule of Benedict not only because of its long and rich association with English spirituality, but also because its emphasis on the heroic practice of the ordinary Christian life blends so well with the temperate character of the Little Gidding way.

The good people who care for St. John’s church and the Ferrar family home operate as a government authorized charitable trust and, although we hold them up in daily prayer, we are not associated with them in any official way.

Religious institutes need to have a church home and the oversight provided in being responsible to the larger body of Christ, just like people do. We are canonically resident in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, which is a diocese in the Anglican Church in North America.



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Donations to the Community of Christ the Sower are tax deductible.
This page last updated on 22-oct-2016


Community of Christ the Sower
Yreka, California
Rev'd Chris Enda-Luke CCS, Superior
vicar@stmarymagdalenes.org
530.643.0858




Related Links
Anglican Church in North America
Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA)
St. Mary Magdalene's Church, Yreka
Anglican Prayer Beads ~ Anglican Rosary
Hymn Organ Accompaniment CDs

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