fonds Mirfield - Mirfield Papers

Identity area

Reference code



Mirfield Papers


  • 1809-2006 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

5.02 cubic metres

256 boxes

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative history

The Community of the Resurrection was established in 1892 as an Anglican religious order for men. In 1892 six priests founded a religious community in Pusey House, Oxford, led by Charles Gore who also became the first principal of the house. In 1893 Gore became the vicar of Radley and the Community relocated to Radley Vicarage; in 1898 it relocated permanently to Mirfield in Yorkshire where it is still based today.

Brethren of the Community follow a daily routine of prayer and worship and engage in pastoral, evangelistic, educational and other charitable works for the advancement of religion in the UK and abroad. Five of the six founding members were members of the Christian Social Union, a group dedicated to the remedying of poverty and social injustice, and the Community has retained a strong commitment to social action.

In 1902 Charles Gore was appointed Bishop of Worcester and Walter Howard Frere succeeded him as principal at Mirfield, a position he held until 1913 and then resumed 1916-1922. The Community underwent considerable expansion under Frere’s leadership. In 1902 the Community opened The College of the Resurrection, a theological training college for men without means, and in 1904 they built a hostel in Leeds for ordinands who received part of their instruction at the University there. In 1903 the Fraternity of Companions was established for lay people who shared the beliefs of the Community.

The Community also had a house is London from 1914, the Priory of St Paul, and a retreat house in Sussex and later Cambridgeshire. In 1911 the foundations of the new Church of the Resurrection were laid at Mirfield, with construction completed in 1938.

The Community also work outside of the UK. In 1902 William Carter, Bishop of Pretoria in South Africa, invited the brethren of the Community to help rebuild the church in his diocese in the aftermath of the Boer War. As a result, three brethren founded a house in Johannesburg offering theological training to local Africans.

In 1906 the Community took over responsibility for St John’s College, an Anglican school for boys in the same city, and in 1911 they established St Peter’s Theological College in the suburb of Rosettenville. In 1934 they were asked to run the parish of Christ the King in the suburb of Sophiatown.

In the second half of the twentieth century the Community were involved in the struggle to end Apartheid in South Africa, most notably through the work of respected anti-apartheid activist Trevor Huddleston, Bishop of Stepney and a member of the Community since 1939.

The Community have also ministered in Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, where they ran a mission in Penhalonga between 1914 and 1983, and Barbados in the West Indies where they ran Codrington Theological College between 1955 and 1969.

Today the Community of the Resurrection continues to play an active role in community life through ministry and education. In 1998 the Community opened The Mirfield Centre, an educational centre for lay people which has since become the centre of the work of Wakefield School of Ministry. In 2004 the Theological College became an independent Church of England training institution.

As of 2012 the Community had 22 members.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The archive was deposited at the Borthwick Institute in 1981. Further additions were made to the archive in 1983, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1998, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2018.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Material relating the administration of the Community of the Resurrection at Mirfield, comprising office files of the Superior, c.1970-c.2004, general chapter papers, 1965-1971, account books, receipts and associated papers, 1902-1962, handbooks, and related correspondence.

Material relating to the College of the Resurrection, including correspondence concerning the founding of the college, 1908, account books and associated papers, 1917-1951, lists of candidates for matriculation, n.d., matriculation exam papers, 1906, and papers relating to the college’s hostel at Leeds, including rules and annual reports, 1964-1969.

Papers concerning the visit of Cardinal Suenens of Malines-Brussels, 1969.

Papers concerning royal visits to Mirfield, 1967-1973.

Papers relating to the Fraternity of the Resurrection, c.1962-c.1972.

Papers concerning St Teilo Priory, 1945-1947, 1965-1969, and the Community’s London priories, 1960-1968.

Papers relating to the Community’s patronage of churches, including Our Lady and St Thomas, Gorton, 1924-1999, St John Evangelist. Skirwith, 1949-1978, St John’s, Territet, 1950-1991, St Pauls, Tranmere, 1952-1968, and St Mary Magdalene, Bradford, 1956-2005.

Material relating to the Community’s activities in South Africa, comprising papers concerning the Federal Seminary at Alice, 1960-1977, Codrington College, 1964-1969, Stellenbosch, 1964-1975, Rosettenville, 1969-1984, St Peter’s College, 1976-1978, and correspondence with the Provincial of South Africa, 1965-1967; material relating to the Community’s activities in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), including papers concerning the Community of the Holy Name (CZR), Penhalonga, 1955-1967, and the Community’s mission at Penhalonga, 1950-1974; material relating to the Community’s activities in Barbados, 1954-1976; correspondence and papers relating to the Archbishop of the West Indies, 1967-1974; papers, reports and newscuttings concerning the Community and race relations, 1973-1985, including papers given by Desmond Tutu and others at the ‘Politics and the Churches in Southern Africa’ conference sponsored by the Community, 1973.

Personal papers, diaries, and photographs of individual brethren of the Community of the Resurrection, c.1910-c.2006.

House of the Resurrection ledgers, July 1902-1907; July 1908-1913; Community of the Resurrection ledgers July 1913-April 1930; General account ledger, 1932-1946. General ledger, 1959-1963, Grants account ledger, 1955-1963; 'A' fund ledger, 1955-1959, 'A' fund general cash receipts, 1955-1959, Subsidiary funds account ledger, 1946-61; Annual statements of account, 1949-1990; General account ledger sheets, 1972-1990; Community Company Book of Minutes (Finance), July 1933-January 1934; Cash book, 1908-1912; Day book (donations), May 1930-April 1945; Ledger of stocks, shares and bonds, 1964-1975; General ledger: general, post and telephone, photocopier, Alice Gerard Bursary Fund, 1990-2003


Further accruals are expected.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are open to the public, subject to the overriding provisions of relevant legislation, including data protection laws. 24 hours' notice is required to access photographic material.

Conditions governing reproduction

A reprographics service is available to researchers subject to the access restrictions outlined above. Copying will not be undertaken if there is any risk of damage to the document. Copies are supplied in accordance with the Borthwick Institute for Archives' terms and conditions for the supply of copies, and under provisions of any relevant copyright legislation. Permission to reproduce images of documents in the custody of the Borthwick Institute must be sought.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

A typescript finding aid, to file level, is available for consultation in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute. This includes all material received in or before 2011. Later material has not yet been catalogued, please contact the Borthwick Institute for more information.

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Selected records, including chronicles, 1892-1976, and minutes of General Chapter, 1909-1971, are available on microfilm at the Borthwick Institute (Reference: MFE 143-148).

Related units of description

Letters concerning the Community of the Resurrection at Mirfield, 1904, 1907, 1933, are deposited at the Borthwick Institute as part of 'Letters and papers found in books in the J. B. Morrell Library' (Reference: UL9).

Part of the library of the Community of the Resurrection at Mirfield is held by the University of York Library as part of its Special Collections. The books can be found by going to the online library catalogue: Select 'Advanced Search' and then select 'Provenance' in the drop down menu and search for 'Community of the Resurrection (Mirfield)'.

Correspondence and other papers concerning Amy Buller and Father Edward Keble Talbot, Superior of the Community of the Resurrection, 1925-c.1969, are held by St Catherine's, Cumberland Lodge, Windsor, a Christian educational trust founded by Buller. This archive is currently deposited at Senate House Library, University of London. A handlist of contents is available in the searchroom of the Borthwick Institute.

The personal archive of Trevor Huddleston is held by the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

Access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

GB 193

Rules and/or conventions used

ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created by S. A .Shearn, 24.06.15. Revised to include later accessions, 25.04.16.




Accession area