The Religious Life

Some men and women are called to live what is known as the ‘Religious Life’, as a monk, a friar or a nun.

There are lots of different ways of following a religious life – as a layperson or as someone who is ordained, in communities that are active or enclosed. Each community has a particular way of serving God – through ministries of teaching, hospitality, nursing, community work, spiritual direction etc.

There is a renewed interest in the religious life for people in their everyday lives.

Many ordinary people live as Associates, Oblates, Companions or members of Third Orders – linked to religious communities through prayer and a rule of life.

There are also lots of expressions of ‘new monasticism’ emerging throughout the country – see

The Community of St John the Divine has been in Birmingham for many years. They are the sisters who inspired the ‘Call the Midwife’ TV series.  Now, they offer a ministry of prayer, hospitality and spiritual direction.  They welcome visitors and can be contacted at:

The Society of St Francis also has a house of friars in Birmingham, serving the poor and marginalised, rooted in a Community of prayer.  For further details:

You can find more information about the different religious orders at: