Anglican Cistercians? Who and what are we?
For a number of years we have been, and still are, of the opinion that the unique Cistercian charism and the contemplative life has so much to offer the Church of England and, therefore, we have founded a new religious Order in order to effectively attempt to fill that gap in the Church of England.
Our Bishop Visitor is the Rt Revd Tony Robinson, Bishop for the Areas of Wakefield and Huddersfield (Diocese of West Yorkshire & The Dales - incorporating the former Diocese of Wakefield, and the Pontefract Episcopal Area).
On the 8th September 2011, on the Feast of the Birth of the Virgin Mary, three of our number made their simple vows and were clothed in the Cistercian habit before Abbot Stuart Burns OSB, in the presence of our previous Bishop Visitor, Bishop Mark Sowerby (Bishop of Horsham), who also presided at the Profession Eucharist. Our preacher was the Chairman of the Archbishop's Advisory Council, Bishop David Walker (currently Bishop of Manchester).
At their council meeting on Wednesday 6th November 2013, the day after our patronal feastday of Our Lady of Hailes, the Advisory Council on the Relations of Bishops and Religious Communities [AC] has granted our Anglican Order of Cistercians Acknowledgement as an Order with no abstentions or votes against! Thus we have now formally and officially taken our place amongst the religious orders and communities of the world-wide Anglican Communion. Our Order's details are published on page 159 in the Anglican Religious Life, a yearbook directory of Religious Orders and Communities in the Anglican Communion [Current Edition (2018-2019): ISBN 978-1-84825-962-1].
From ancient times the Church has had the custom of celebrating each day the liturgy of the hours. In this way the Church fulfils the Lord's precept to pray without ceasing, at once offering its praise to God the Father and interceding for the salvation of the world. Our community is committed to praying at least five Offices a day, beginning with Vigils at dawn, Lauds, Tierce, None, or Sext (any of these three Offices or all of them), Vespers and Compline. Our Community uses the Benedictine Daily Prayer Breviary, 2nd Edition (see below).
Our Order currently consists of five professed brothers and one novice, as well as a number of inquirers (i.e., potential postulants awaiting to be interviewed by our Deans' Council at a future Chapter meeting). We are very pleased that Cistercians have now also returned to Wales, as from July 2017.
Three of our Brothers made their solemn vows at Lambeth Palace in the presence of the Most Reverend the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and our Episcopal Visitor, the Right Reverend the Bishop of Wakefield, Tony Robinson on Friday 26th May 2017 (the Feast of St Augustine, first Archbishop of Canterbury and the Commemoration of John Calvin, Reformer). One of our novices also made his simple vows on that day. Please pray for the Brothers and the Anglican Order of Cistercians.
The emergence of Religious communities in the mid-Victorian period took the Church of England bishops somewhat by surprise. Within the next fifty years, the number of both Religious and Religious communities increased not only in Great Britain, but in other parts of the Anglican Communion. From South Africa to North America, the Indian sub-continent to the Pacific, matters concerning the Religious Life began to be raised for Episcopal judgement. Form the communities' point of view, their growth and increasing contribution to the Church's ministry and witness entitled them to some formal recognition from the Episcopal authorities.
The Church of England recognises the importance of Religious communities in the Church and values their life and witness, but has no ecclesiastical law to protect and regulate them. The Advisory Council on the Relations of Bishops and Religious Communities was set up in 1935 to express the Church's care for the Religious Life by providing a means of Episcopal oversight appropriate to the particular circumstances of the Church of England.
Now, in the 21st Century, there are numerous communities across the worldwide Anglican Communion; their spiritual roots may be catholic, Celtic, charismatic, or be elsewhere. Fresh expressions of religious community life are constantly being explored and new groups are formed even as some older ones complete their tasks.
Our Opus Dei
The Authorised Prayer Books used by our Community