Introduction to the community
The Community was founded in 1884 by Bishop Allan Becher Webb and Cecile Isherwood to undertake pastoral and educational work in Grahamstown. These two types of work, and later Social Welfare work, have predominated throughout the Community’s history. The regular life of monastic Offices and personal prayer and intercession has always been maintained in all houses, wherever situated. Grahamstown is now the only centre where the Community life continues. The Sisters are involved in various ministries: at the Cathedral and other churches as needed; in the Raphael Centre for people suffering from HIV/Aids etc; in visiting at Old Age Homes and the hospital; soup kitchens; and needlework/banners. In April 2012, the Community opened an orphanage, named Ikhay Lethu, in our old convent.
Address: St Peter’s, PO Box 72, Grahamstown 6140, South Africa
Bishop Visitor: Rt Revd Patrick Glover, retired Bishop of the Free State
A pictorial record of the Community’s history, with commentary, was published in its centenary year, 1984. It was a collaborative work.
Lives of Mother Cecile and her successor, Mother Florence, have been published, in each case written by ‘a Sister’:
- A Sister of the Community (compiler), Mother Cecile in South Africa 1883-1906: Foundress of the Community of the Resurrection of Our Lord, SPCK, London, 1930
- A Sister of the Community, The Story of a Vocation: A Brief Memoir of Mother Florence, Second Superior of the Community of the Resurrection of Our Lord, The Church Book Shop, Grahamstown, no date.
Guy Butler, The Prophetic Nun, Random House, 2000. (Life and art works, with colour illustrations, of Sisters Margaret and Pauline CR, and Sister Dorothy Raphael CSMV.) This is a beautiful coffee-table type book available in South Africa and the UK.
Third Order, Fellowship, Associates
Oblates of the Risen Christ live under a Rule drawn up for each individual according to circumstances, on their observance of which they must report monthly to the Oblate Sister.
Associates undertake a simple Rule, including regular prayer for the Community.
Priest Associates undertake to give an address or preach on Religious Vocation at least once a year.
Friends are interested in the Community and pray for it, and keep in touch with it.
There is a Fellowship Meeting twice a year, after Easter and near the Foundress’s birthday on 14 November.
Also there is a Festival gathering of UK Associates at St Peter’s Bourne, Whetstone, north London, on the Saturday nearest to St Peter’s Day, 29 June, each year, at which two Sisters from South Africa are always present to preserve our links with the UK.
Mother Superior: Mother Zelma CR (priest)
Assumed office 24 November 2005
Assistant Superior: Sister Kekeletso CR
Sister Carol (priest)