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Religious Orders, Anglican-Episcopalian


In 16th-century England an act of Queen elizabeth i dissolved the religious houses refounded by mary tudor. An Anglican mixed community, founded by Nicholas Ferrar, existed at Little Gidding, Northamptonshire, between 1625 and 1646. Several attempts were made to establish Anglican so-called Protestant monasteries and Colleges of Maids during the 17th and 18th centuries, but none succeeded.

The modern revival of the religious life in the Anglican Communion started with the foundation of the Sisterhood of the Holy Cross (London 1845). After 1848, more than 100 female communities were established in Great Britain and Ireland, the majority devoted to active works of mercy and charity or to teaching. Approximately 30 male communities were founded in Britain after J. H. newman's short-lived "monastery" at Littlemore, Oxford (1842). While many of the Anglican religious orders in Great Britain witnessed a declining number of vocations, this was compensated by the growth of religious orders in the worldwide Anglican communion, especially in Africa.

According to the 200203 Anglican Religious Communities Year Book, there were about 2,500 religious (950 men and 1,550 women) in the worldwide Anglican Communion, distributed as follows: 420 in Africa (50 men, 370 women); 95 in Asia (25 men, 70 women); 825 in Australasia and the Pacific (600 men, 225 women); 800 in Europe (175 men, 625 women); 360 in North America and the Caribbean (100 men, 260 women). The accompanying table shows the breakdown of international orders.

Bibliography: p. f. anson, The Call of the Cloister (rev. ed. London 1964), full bibliog. for Anglican religious communities. a. m. allchin, The Silent Rebellion: Anglican Religious Communities 18451900 (London 1958). f. biot, The Rise of Protestant Monasticism, tr. w. j. kerrigan (Baltimore 1963). s. c. hughson, An American Cloister (6th ed. West Park, N.Y. 1961). A Directory of the Religious Life in the Church of England (2d ed. Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; 1957). Guide to the Religious Communities of the Anglican Communion (3d ed. London 1963). Religious Communities in the Episcopal Church and in the Anglican Church of Canada (3d ed. West Park, N.Y. 1964). Anglican Religious Communities Year Book 20022003 (Norwich, England 2001).

[p. f. anson/eds.]

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