The Herbert Kelly Institute for Anglican Religious Life
The Herbert Kelly Institute for Anglican Religious Life is being established as a significant resource for the wider church. It aims both to preserve the legacy of Anglican religious life and to inform its future development.
The religious life of the Church of England is at a critical juncture: most communities face decline and many will close within a generation. This legacy is in very real danger of being lost forever; the Institute will have a crucial role in preserving it.
At the same time, new forms of religious life are being explored; the Institute will become a forum and resource for the future development of Anglican Religious Life, and the nourishment of Christian spirituality more generally.
The Legacy and the Future
The work of the Insitute will take as its starting point the preservation of the legacy of Anglican religious life. At the most basic level, this will entail securing archives, as well as cataloguing and improving access.
But that’s just the beginning. We see this as about developing resources to inform the future of religious life, together with the cultivation of Christian spirituality more generally.
The Institute will operate as an integrated part of all the other activities of the Priory, which will continue to provide hospitality as well as spiritual accompaniment and other programmes – all of it grounded in the worshiping life of the Priory chapel.
The first step will involve the establishment of premises as a centre for the activities of the Institute, and to this end we will be redeveloping our property at 72 Claypath to create a new specialist theological library, office space, meeting rooms and archive storage (see architect drawings opposite).
It is expected that this work will take up the best part of 2024. In the meantime, we will continue to develop the various strands of the project, including building relationships with religious communities and other organsiations, hosting speaker events, and developing resources.