The true beginnings of our community might be seen to be rooted in the founding of the Oratory of the Good Shepherd, a community of men, in Cambridge, England, in 1913. The way in which the Oratory developed was a significant departure from other traditional communities, in that members were dispersed. But what gave the Oratory its unique character, more than anything, were the Seven Notes, a document setting out the principles on which the community had been founded. These Notes emphasized the importance of fellowship above all else, but also laid down the principle that each individual member should be encouraged to develop his own God-given gifts and talents - as long as this did not interfere with the first Note of Fellowship. The academic milieu in which OGS came into being was reflected in a special emphasis on "the Labour of the Mind," and the document reflects a particularly positive and joyful approach to life, somewhat different from the rather more solemn approach prevalent in most communities of that era.
Our community of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd began to come together in St. David's, Wales, in 2004, though one of the founding members had been reflecting on a new style of living the Religious Life for many years, and had already identified and felt drawn to the model of the Oratory of the Good Shepherd.
Several of us began to live the OGS way of life, with the support and encouragement of OGS, from early in 2005, and by April 2006 it was felt that we were ready to begin a formal novitiate. From the beginning of our venture, we have been guided by the Right Revd. Dominic Walker OGS, representing the Oratory of the Good Shepherd. In April 2007, the three founding members took their first vows, thus bringing the community into being as a legally recognised entity amongst Anglican religious Communities. At this point, Bishop Dominic Walker was formally elected as the Episcopal Visitor of the Community.
The Three Founding Members as Novices
Two of the founding members withdrew from the Community in 2008, but this has allowed the remaining Sister the valuable experience of temporary involvement with the nearest OGS College. As of November 2010, there are a number of women expressing interest in joining, so we look forward to the renewed expansion of the Community "in God's good time."