The Community of the Resurrection (The)
The Community of the Resurrection is an Anglican monastic community whose Mother House is in northern England.
How we came to Mirfield
When the Community of the Resurrection was founded in Oxford in 1892 it looked out on the dreaming spires of that beautiful city. Its first members were drawn from privileged backgrounds and from Oxford and Cambridge universities, yet they were men who looked not back but forward. They quickly decided that Oxford and nearby London would suffocate them.
Most were inspired by the kind of Anglo-Catholic theology which made them want to be amongst people whose work was hard, who had little colour or beauty in their life. They wanted to show that the Church of England was not only for the wealthy or comfortable middle classes. Their Gospel spoke of a Christ who took on flesh, became human, lived with the poor and the outcast and died the death of a criminal. So they came to grimy, smoky, industrial Yorkshire to live the monastic life.
From Mirfield to the World
Although the Community made its home in Yorkshire it did not stop here.
In 1902 we began our work of training men for the priesthood. At the same time a house in central London and another in Cardiff extended our ministry amongst parish priests.
In 1902 also a call from the Bishop of Pretoria took three of our Brethren out to South Africa to work in Johannesburg, a work which grew into mission and educational work in many parts of the Transvaal, in Zimbabwe and in the Eastern Cape, and which later brought us fame, or notoriety,through our brother Trevor Huddleston who was one of the first to challenge the Church to fight against apartheid in all its evil forms.
Later too, we worked in Barbados for thirty years, training men for the priesthood and serving parishes in that beautiful island.
The Community’s ecumenical involvement began early. Walter Frere developed contacts with the Russian Orthodox Church before the Revolution. In the 1920s Gore and Frere took part in the Anglican-Roman Catholic Malines conversations, with Cardinal Mercier and Abbé Portal.
Fr Eric Simmons CR (Superior 1974-86) meets Pope Paul VI in 1977
A few years later a friendship grew up between Fr Geoffrey Curtis and Fr Paul Couturier which helped to form relationships with small parts of the Roman Catholic Church. At the same time members of the Community became involved in the then burgeoning links with the Russian Orthodox Church in exile. In the 1930s strong links began to be formed with the Romanian Orthodox Church, particularly involving the College. These were cut off by the war but resumed with the collapse of the communist empire in 1990 and have flourished since.
Since the 1960s members of the Community have taken part in a great number of ecumenical encounters with members of many denominations. For a time in South Africa we shared in ecumenical theological training at Alice. More recently, close co-operation has developed with all the mainstream churches in the work of the College and the Mirfield Centre.
Of greatest importance has been the covenant relationship with the Benedictine Abbey of St Matthias in Trier, Germany. Despite the cooling of the ecumenical climate this relationship has grown steadily since the late 1960s, as we have discovered more and more our shared roots in the great tradition. Together we have been able to face some of the challenges of the future. At the same time one member of the Community travelled extensively in East Germany and Poland during communist times to assist the small Lutheran and Reformed Religious Communities coming into existence there. Every two years members of the Community take part in the International Congress of Religious which brings together 60 or 70 religious men and women, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Orthodox to live, talk and pray for unity.
The Mirfield Centre
For more information please visit the website.