Nicholas Ferrar & Little Gidding

[I post this a day late.  But it is worth posting since Nicholas Ferrar and the community at Little Gidding are an important part of the Anglican patrimony.  As Richard Coles states in his Facebook post (excerpts below) on Nicholas Ferrar, the Little Gidding community was “a High Church experiment in a Low Church age.”]

On 4 December, “the Church of England remembers its most celebrated deacon, Nicholas Ferrar. He was a close friend of the priest-poet George Herbert … [Ferrar founded a religious community at Little Gidding] in 1626 after he lost his shirt speculating in the Virginia Company. The community met for prayer [in the still extant church at Little Gidding.  It was] a High Church experiment in a Low Church age. The unfortunate Charles I called in after the Battle of Naseby …  TS Eliot came in the 30s and wrote about it in Four Quartets. It is a beautiful place, looked after today by the Society of the Friends of Little Gidding.

Here’s a passage Ferrar wrote in one of the Storybooks of 1632; it is timely.

“I thought the exercise of Patience a burden that would tyre out my strength, a block that encombered the way and made me stumble, and made me fall, and therefore thought even Impatience itself in removing that which was offensive to have been a piece of wisedome, a practize of goodness. That nobody should crosse mee, that nothing should be contrary to my mind, was that which I supposed most just to desire, most profitable to endeavour. I see my errour, I feel my losse.”

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