Ashram was founded
in the late 1960's in Rochdale,
Lancashire, where John Vincent was minister of a Methodist church. Much
text on this page comes from his writings, and he is still the Leader
community. Some of the ideas behind it - as well as its name - came
from the Indian tradition of the Ashram. Central to
Ashram has been a search for
ways of living
Alternative ways of living have
houses and also looser community arrangements covered by the term
distance communities'. Alternative work includes both organised
as those in Sheffield and other fair trading ventures as well as many
actions. Alternative theology and alternative worship are to be found
Ashram, but in particular in Community Worship. One aspect of our
lifestyle has been food - which led us to publish an Ashram Cookbook.
not all members are vegetarian, and food at all Ashram events is
believe that the Jesus story gives meaning to all life. We therefore
have an understanding of life based on the faith that the
things of Jesus, such as healing the sick, feeding the hungry,
giving people hints of the Love of God, are the beginning and
ending of all things.
Joining Ashram involves
making the following
We commit ourselves
To follow the Way revealed in Jesus;
support each other in good and ill;
challenge evil with the power of love;
offer the Kingdom in political and economic witness;
work for the new community of all creation; and
risk ourselves in a lifestyle of sharing.
(At the Community General Meeting in October 2013, the first line of
the Commitment was changed from 'To hold to the Truth as it is in
Jesus' to the above.)
shared common commitment is lived out through members in different
ways, and is
renewed annually. For
some members their commitment means living in an Ashram Community House
working in the local community.
attend regular (often monthly) local meetings with other members for
worship and meals.
members work in pairs with each other to explore and support each
members are expected to make an attempt to attend the two annual
national conferences organised by Ashram.
members are involved in local politics, in overseas aid organisations,
fair-trading and related issues.
have been active in the inner-city as volunteers, advice
workers, lay and ordained church workers, teachers etc.
year Ashram finds a project to which all members are encouraged to
'day's pay' as a part of their planned giving. All
practice some kind of planned giving - often tithing - mainly to causes
the Ashram Community. There is no set subscription but members are
contribute to Ashram expenses.
members are involved in deciding the policy of the charity through the
Community Meetings at the two annual conferences. There is a small
officers elected through this body as officers of the charity to carry
work, as well as sub-groups that can be set up from time to time to