Introduction to the community
In the mid-19th century Elizabeth Ferard felt called to restore the diaconate of women. She was authorized by the Bishop of London, A. C. Tait, to begin an Institute to train women as Deaconesses which started on St Andrew’s Day, 1861. The Bishop commissioned Elizabeth as the first Deaconess of the Church of England on 18 July 1862. The Bishop laid hands on the head of each person to be made Deaconess, give her his blessing and she would be admitted to the Community of the London Diocesan Deaconess Institution. From about 1887 the Community evolved into a Religious Community known as the Deaconess Community of St Andrew: thus the dual vocation of life commitment in community and ordained ministry in the Church. The fundamental ministry is the offering of prayer and worship, evangelism, pastoral work and hospitality, now mainly through retirement ministries, as all the remaining sisters are in care accommodation.
Address: c/o St Mary’s Convent & Nursing Home, Burlington Lane, Chiswick, London W4 2QE
Bishop Visitor: Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark
Sister Joanna [Baldwin], Dss. CSA, “The Deaconess Community of St Andrew”, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Vol. XII, No.2, October 1961, 16pp.
Henrietta Blackmore, editor, The Beginnings of Women’s Ministry: The Revival of the Deaconess in the 19th-Century Church of England, Church of England Record Society, 14; Woodbridge, Suffolk, Boydell & Brewer, 2007, ISBN 978-843-308-6.
Sister Teresa [Joan White], CSA, The (Deaconess) Community of St Andrew, 1861-2011, St Andrew’s House, 2012, reprinted 2013, 225 pp. plus photos.
Sister Edna Mary [Skinner], Dss.CSA, The Religious Life, Penguin, 1968.
Third Order, Fellowship, Associates
Our Associates are part of our extended Community family. They may be men, women, clergy or lay, and follow a simple Rule of Life, which includes praying for the Sisters and their work. The Sisters pray for the Associates every day.