A celebration the 40th Anniversary of the founding of the Companions/Fraternity of the Community of the Resurrection St. Albans Group/Network
by Ros Johnson
looked back in the records held at Mirfield and saw that a meeting was held on
30 May, 1970 at Frithsden. This may not have been the very first meeting of
Hilda Gooding writes from Bromham, Bedfordshire that her first "connection
with CR dates from 1962 when I met Gabriel at a dinner party in Barbados and I
think it was he who transferred me to the local group". John Hartup and
Hilda were part of the original
Hartup writes: "My wife and I have been connected with
Community/Fraternity since the early 1970s. The starting point was a Mirfield
Mission at my parish church - the Church of the Transfiguration, Kempston. That
mission was led by Brother Michael and Father Jack Guinness and the team
included some young theology students or priests, one of whom was Fr. Stan
Taylor (now vicar of St. Andrew's, Leeds - we still keep in touch). There
were also two sisters from The Sisters of Charity. My wife and I were quite
involved in our parish church at the time and became active participants in the
"Home Team". A year or so after that, Br. Michael asked us to
join him on a number of similar missions in other parishes, including Orford (near
Warrington). For this we stayed at the vicarage where Fr. David Hope
was parish priest (later to become Arch Bishop
of York). I remember well Fr. Hope going down with flu during the 10 day
mission and my wife Rita helped to look after him!".
both became Associates at about the same time and often attended meetings of the
St. Albans branch of FR, which at that time were mostly held in the south of the
diocese viz Little Gaddesden/Berkhamsted/St. Albans/Abbotts Langley areas.
Roger Turner was branch secretary at about that time and Fr. Howard Beech became
our Chaplain. Roger carried on a goodly number of years until he asked me
to take over because of pressure of work. I was able to extend the activities of
the Branch to wider parts of the diocese and we held meetings at Bedford (
time went on, our branch membership declined such that only a few were able to
get to meetings. By this time, my secular work had intensified considerably
and I could no longer take an active part. A number of members decided
that they would try and keep in touch by correspondence only"
Roger Turner from Malvern writes: "I am fairly certain Lorna Brown had
re-convened an earlier founded St. Albans FR branch in 1969. I am sorry I
have no records now of those days. I know that Phyllida Upstone is still
around because she writes in the CR Quarterly. But I had to be ruthless in
packing up for
Revd. David Uffindell writes to say "I believe I was the first, or
certainly one of the first, NSM clergy Companions as no-one was quite sure at
Mirfield how an NSM could keep the Companions Rule. For many years Fr.
Luke Smith was my link with Mirfield and we always met at the Commemoration Day
and when he was in the
1987 there was a three day event from 16th to 18th October, with Fr. Peter Allan
CR leading at:
-,Quiet Afernoon at
- Joined members of St. Peter,
is a note that in March 1988, the sub for the Quarterly magazine was £5.00!
there was then a revived branch meeting held for the 25th Anniversary of the
founding and it was held at
have seen a letter from Fr. Aidan CR, written at the time, which states
"overhaul of Fraternity ... a little like Ezekiel's valley of dry bones but
sure they will ultimately live!" That was in 1990.
Albans City Hospital Chapel was used in 2000 and the group then seems to have
The Revd William Girard writes: "I regard myself as Rhodesian by adoption, having lived there from 1948 to 1965; as a boy to begin with at Penhalonga where my father was a mining Engineer and then after leaving school I pursued a legal career before coming to UK in 1965 to go to Mirfield. I also knew the Stebbing family at St. Luke's, Rhodesville, where Dorothy Stebbing was PCC Secretary; I think I may in fact have taught Nicholas Stebbing to be a server!"
Kathleen Moxham of High Wycombe says: "I used to go regularly in the
past to Summer Schools which CR ran at Wantage. One year I drove the then
then come to 20 September 2007, when the re-invented
then, Father Nicholas Stebbing has become Chaplain for the Companions. A
Companions branch has started in London (inaugurated at Southwark Cathedral),
headed by Canon Andrew Nunn CCR and another at
this is the story up to the present; an ever evolving one. Hallelujah to that!