The Community of the Holy Cross is an Anglican Benedictine Religious Community living in the East Midlands in the UK. The new Convent stands in what was farmland and has some woodland with it as well as wide views over the surrounding countryside. This allows the sisters space in which they can share the atmosphere and silence of their Benedictine life with the many people, Oblates, and Associates and folk from local parishes, who come for Retreats and Quiet Days throughout the year.
The Community of the Holy Cross was founded in 1857 by Elizabeth Neale (sister of John Mason Neale, the hymnographer), at the invitation of Father Charles Fuge Lowder. The foundation was intended for Mission work in Father Lowder’s parish of London Docks, but succeeding generations felt that the Community was being called to a life of greater withdrawal, and earlier in the twentieth century the Benedictine Office, and later the Rule of St Benedict, were adopted.
The Chapel is the centre of the Community, where the Divine Office is recited, and where the centre of Christian worship, the Eucharist, is celebrated daily. The sisters have a seven-fold Office of Matins, Lauds, Terce, Sext & None, and Vespers and Compline. The latter two are sung, and the other Offices have carrying degrees of music according to the feast. The greater part of the Community’s liturgy is in English but some Latin has been retained at Vespers, particularly for the greater Feast Days.