Pioneers of Religious Renewal

A History of The Christian Community in the English-Speaking World

Christian Maclean

Available to buy

Quick Look

  • The definitive history of this unique Christian church organisation
  • Full of stories, insights, anecdotes and colourful characters
  • Covers Britain, North America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand

A comprehensive overview of the development of the English-speaking Christian Community around the world.

234 x 156 mm
Floris Books
Religion & Spirituality
b/w photographs
192 pages
Publication date:
21 Jul 2016


The Christian Community is a unique church organisation in the modern world. It values the rhythm and ritual of the sacraments (such as baptism and holy communion), and has re-established them in a form which tries to meet the deepest needs of searching souls. At the same time, it proclaims the right of individuals to form their own beliefs, rather than what the
church tells them. It therefore offers something quite particular and vital for the future of Christianity.

This book looks back to the founding of The Christian Community in 1922, following inspiration from Rudolf Steiner, and especially its beginnings in English-speaking countries. It includes accounts of the key personalities who brought the organisation into existence, such as Friedrich Rittelmeyer and Emil Bock, as well as the priests and leaders who pioneered it in Britain, North America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, including Alfred Heidenreich, Oliver Matthews, Verner Hegg, Heinz Maurer, Julian Sleigh, Eileen Hersey, Michael Tapp and many more.


'Christian Maclean writes in an engaging and honest fashion about the trials and tribulations (and the triumphs) of The Christian Community as it expanded through the English speaking world from its foundation in 1922. [...] Christian writes in a way that combines honesty with gentle humour, and throw light on many corners of The Christian Community […] the potential contents for the next volume are endless.
--Kevin Street, Camphill Correspondence

‘The story of priests of The Christian Community who have carried its mission across the Channel, the Atlantic, and then into every corner of the world is faithfully and vividly recounted here […] In this volume Christian Maclean has enabled those who found The Christian Community in English to meet the figures who made that encounter possible. The book will be invaluable as well to anyone seeking to follow the destiny of this small but potent force for the redemption of the earth and its inhabitants. The book is, as Americans like to say, ‘lavishly illustrated’ with many photographs. […] The book is well organized into chronological and biographical sections […] Christian Maclean has provided a useful and engaging resource to help this movement’s members and friends mature in the mode that Cicero outlined, the better to prepare for the present and coming epoch.’
-- Michael Ronall, Perspectives


Christian Maclean has been involved in The Christian Community since childhood. Born in Edinburgh, he started training to be a priest but was instead asked to take on the management of the Community's English language publishing company, Floris Books, which he ran for nearly forty years until his semi-retirement in 2012. He is currently the chair of The Christian Community in Great Britain. He knew many of the pioneer priests described in this book personally.

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