Community of St John Baptist (CSJB)

Introduction to the community

Founded by Harriet Monsell and Thomas Thelluson Carter to help women rejected by the rest of society, we are now a Community of women who seek to offer our gifts to God in various ways.  These include parish and retreat work, spiritual direction, and ministry to the elderly.  Two sisters are ordained to the priesthood. Sisters are also available to facilitate quiet days.

 We have close links with the sisters of our affiliated community at Mendham, New Jersey, USA (see separate entry); and we also have links with the Justice and Peace Movement.

Daily life centres on the Eucharist and the Divine Office, and we live under the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Following the Rule of St Augustine, we are encouraged to grow into ‘an ever-deepening commitment of love for God and for each other as we strive to show forth the attractiveness of Christ to the world’.

In 2012, we moved to Ripon College, Cuddesdon, to contribute to the life of the community and the spiritual development of the students. Since November 2020, the remaining sisters are now resident at St Mary’s, Chiswick.


CSJB Cuddesdon chapel interior looking west

Contact details

Address: The Community of St John Baptist, St Mary’s Convent & Nursing Home, Burlington Lane, London W4 2QE

Community information

Date of foundation:
Registered Charity number:
1173961 (CIO)

Bishop Visitor: Rt Revd Stephen Croft, Bishop of Oxford



All by Valerie Bonham and published by CSJB:

  • A Joyous Service: The Clewer Sisters and their work (1989); revised ed 2012
  • A Place in Life: The House of Mercy 1849-1883 (1992)
  • The Sisters of the Raj: The Clewer Sisters in India (1997)

Third Order, Fellowship, Associates

CSJB has women Oblates. Men and women may become Associates or members of the Friends of Clewer – these answer to a call to prayer and service while remaining at home and work. This call includes a commitment to their own spiritual life development and to active church membership. Oblates, Associates and Friends support the Sisters by prayer and in other ways, and are likewise supported by the Community, and are part of the extended family of CSJB.


Sister Mary Stephen Britt
Sister Anne Proudley

Members who have died since the last Yearbook:

11 Apr 2018 – Sister Elizabeth Jane Barrett, aged 88, professed 53 years
29 Apr 2018 – Sister Monica Amy, aged 96, professed 55 years
12 Dec 2019 – Sister Ann Verena CJGS, aged 95, professed 52 years
17 May 2022 – Sister Jane Olive, aged 92, professed 60 years, Reverend Mother 1992-2004