Grail Community

An article in the Independent (UK) titled “Grail Community: Life inside a (gently crumbling retreat,” offers an inside look at a unique a lay association of celibate women who choose not to be nuns or to work visibly in the world despite their interest in ecclesiastical and social issues.

The women of the Grail Community in north-west London have provided a sanctuary to all-comers for more than 60 years. But, with the sisterhood ageing and dwindling, they are having to seek out a smaller home. Fortunately, these ‘hermits’ are not afraid to step outside…

On their 8+ acre grounds (which they may have to give up due to the time and expense of upkeep) are small cabins or “poustinias” for visitors who may want to spend time alone.

If the Grail Community itself is shrinking, there is, it should be pointed out, plenty of life in its two sister organisations — the Companions of the Grail, made up of celibate Catholic women who have their own homes but try to live out the service-to-the-community ideal as individuals; and even more markedly in the growing number of Grail Partners — married couples, again regular visitors to Waxwell, who draw inspiration from the core community and its work, but apply it more widely in the midst of everyday lives and families.


Forthcoming hermit novel

In this short video from Emerson College (Boston), writer and faculty-member Steve Himmer talks about his novel, The Bee-Loud Glade, which will be published in Spring 2011. The novel features an ornamental hermit: “The Bee-Loud Glade brings this odd pastime to the present day, where a billionaire named Mr. Crane hires Finch to be his decorative hermit.”