Community of Saint Anselm

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Community of Saint Anselm
LeaderArchbishop of Canterbury
Members16 residential, 20 community based, total of 36.

The Community of Saint Anselm is an Anglican religious order of young people, devoted to prayer, study and service to the poor. It is based at Lambeth Palace in London, home of the Archbishop of Canterbury.[1]

It consists of an annually replaced 16 residential members from around the world,[2] and around 20 non-residential members who live and work in the London area. Members may be aged 20–35.[3] The community is dedicated to Saint Anselm, and is under the patronage of the current Archbishop of Canterbury, the primus inter pares of the Anglican Communion.[1] The archbishop serves as the abbot,[4] assisted by a prior,[3] and the community abides by a Benedictine-inspired[2][3] Rule of Life.[1] The Community of Saint Anselm is of an ecumenical nature; part of its purpose is to bring people from different countries and different denominations together,[5] and four members of the Catholic Chemin Neuf Community live with and support the community.[3]

The quasi-monastic institute was founded in September 2015 at the initiative of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who stated his intention "that Lambeth Palace be not so much a historic place of power and authority, but a place from which blessing and service reach to the ends of the earth".[6] Part of the rationale for the new community was a desire to meet the needs of young people considering a monastic path but reluctant to embark upon a potentially lifelong commitment.[3] The American theologian Stanley Hauerwas was cited as an influence on the new initiative.[7] Comparisons have been drawn to a gap year,[2] though this analogy was not promoted by the archbishop's chaplain, Jo Bailey Wells,[3] who was instrumental in establishing the community.[7] In 2018 Welby said of the community, "it’s grown: it’s developed, it’s got much deeper roots, it’s wonderful — and we’re seeing other communities growing up in other places".[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Lodge, Carey (18 September 2015). "Archbishop Welby launches monastic community at Lambeth Palace". Christian Today. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Bingham, John (4 September 2014). "Archbishop of Canterbury offers monastic gap year at Lambeth Palace". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Dodd, Liz (5 December 2014). "UK initiatives seek monastic renewal". National Catholic Reporter. 51 (4). Retrieved 15 January 2019 – via The Free Library.
  4. ^ Gledhill, Ruth (5 September 2014). "The young nuns: Justin Welby invites young people to live monastic life at Lambeth Palace". Christian Today. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  5. ^ Spanner, Huw (11 November 2016). "Giving a year in God's Time". Church Times. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  6. ^ Welby, Justin (4 September 2014). "Archbishop invites young Christians to spend year praying at Lambeth Palace". Archived from the original on 22 April 2016.
  7. ^ a b Gledhill, Ruth (10 November 2014). "Lambeth prayer community is 'a thing of God, it can't be anything else' says new Prior". Christian Today. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  8. ^ Handley, Paul (16 February 2018). "To bless and not to bless: Archbishop Welby in conversation". Church Times. Retrieved 15 January 2019.

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Coordinates: 51°29′43″N 0°07′12″W / 51.4954°N 0.1201°W / 51.4954; -0.1201