Presenter Information

Nicholas T. Groves


Inspired by Vincent de Paul, Anglican clergyman Charles Lowder founded the Society of the Holy Cross in 1855 to strengthen the spiritual life of the clergy, conduct missions, and reform the Church of England. Led by the aristocracy and seeing sin in poverty, the Church of England neglected persons who were poor. Lowder and his Society formed mission houses to work among them, and the clergy who served there had a community life based on the Congregation. He also founded a group of sisters based on the Daughters of Charity. Lowder was part of the second generation of the Oxford Movement, which looked to the past for a more universal church. Rituals linked the Anglican Church to the history and theology of the universal church. They created a more intimate relationship among the poor, their clergy, and their church. Like Vincent, Lowder believed confession was vital to spiritual discipline; preaching, parish visiting, and hearing confessions were the Society’s main duties. Similarities between the respective societies and churches of Vincent’s France and Victorian England are explored.