The history

Dorothea Pickering and the Trust

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Dorothea Pickering. A passport photo of 1934

The fellowship of St Ethelwold and the use of St Ethelwold’s House as a spiritual centre were the vision of Dorothea Pickering (1906 – 1997).  The Fellowship was named after the 10th century Abbot of Abingdon Abbey; Dorothea longed for the return of Benedictine monks to Abingdon and had a vision that her house might house a community to allow this to happen.  She met Bede Griffiths, a English Benedictine monk who was then living in India, and out of this friendship grew a vision of St Ethelwold’s House being an ‘ashram’ in the west.

Dorothea wanted her house and garden to be a place where people could come together for prayer, meditation, times of quiet reflection and interfaith encounter. It was founded within the Christian tradition to be a place of interfaith dialogue and encounter embracing people of all faiths and spiritual paths. In 1984 the Fellowship was registered as a UK Charity (No 284865) which is now managed by a board of four trustees.  Annual reports and accounts are published on the website of the Charity Commission

Click here to download a history of the fellowship pdf

Click here to download a history of No.30 East St Helen Street pdf

 

Bede Griffiths (right) with Dorothea and Swami Amaldass

Bede Griffiths (right) with Dorothea and Swami Amaldass

Pupils of the Vineyard School at lunch in what is now 'Hearth'

Pupils of the Vineyard School at lunch in what is now ‘Hearth’