Society of the Sisters of Bethany (SSB)

Introduction to the community

The Sisters of Bethany (SSB) are the founding community of a wider Bethany family that includes Associates, Oblates and the Order of Companions of Martha and Mary (OCMM).

Associates are a body of close friends who live in their own homes and accept a simple Rule of Life.

Oblates are a recent development (2014), who also live in their own homes. They have adopted the Rule of Life used by the Sisters, modified appropriately to their own circumstances. Oblates and Sisters live by a spirituality derived from the Salesian Rule of the Visitation Order. They share times of study and ongoing formation.

The Sisters’ online ministry using Facebook (@sisters.ofbethany) engages with nearly 8,500 people, meeting them where they are and helping them see God in the ‘everyday’.

Each member of the Bethany family makes the offering of herself in the hidden life of prayer, praying daily for the unity of Christians and, by prayer and activity, seeking to share in Christ’s mission reconciling the divided Churches of Christendom and the whole world.

The OCMM is a new monastic order (2010). The Sisters live in community under a Benedictine-inspired Rule and have a ministry of prayer and hospitality offering space for retreat, rest and refreshment at St Joseph’s House of Prayer. They are linked to SSB by close ties of friendship, shared activity and prayer intentions under the patronage of the household of Bethany.

Contact details

Facebook: @sisters.ofbethany

02392 833498

Main house:
7 Nelson Road, Southsea, Hampshire PO5 2AR

Order of Companions of Martha and Mary:
St Joseph’s House of Prayer, New Vicarage, Church Lane, Tunstall, Lancashire LA6 2RQ.
Tel: 03330 119563

Community information

Date of foundation:
Registered Charity number:

Bishop Visitor: Rt Revd Dr Trevor Willmott, retired Bishop of Dover & Bishop in Canterbury


Third Order, Fellowship, Associates

Associates’ Sister: Sister Rita-Elizabeth

Oblates’ Sister: Sister Elizabeth Pio

Order of Companions of Martha & Mary: Amma Judith OCMM


Reverend Mother: Mother Mary Joy SSB
Assumed office 24 October 2019

Assistant Superior: Sister Elizabeth Pio SSB


Sister Ann Patricia
Sister Rita-Elizabeth
Sister Joanna Elizabeth
Sister Mary Paul

Novices: 1
Members who have died since the last Yearbook:

24 Apr 2018 – Sister Gwenyth, aged 85, professed 39 years, Revd Mother 1994-2009

4 Feb 2021 Sr Ruth Ethelreda, aged 95, professed 67