The Sisters of St Andrew
an Ignatian Community


The Sisters were founded in the Middle Ages to welcome pilgrims 'en route' across Europe to Compostella in Spain. About the year 1231 a small group of women decided to consecrate their lives to the service of those in need and opened a hostel in Tournai (Belgium). This first Fraternity lived according to the Rule of St Augustine, received alms and gave hospitality to the poor who came to them for help.

At the beginning of the 14th Century, when plague, famine and wars began to decimate the population and hinder travelling, the hostel was transformed into a hospital and care of the sick became the Sisters' main work. The hospital chapel was dedicated to St Andrew (c.1239) and the Community soon became known by the name of the apostle Andrew.


The Religious of St Andrew came first to England in 1863, and it was in 1896 that St. Andrew's Coventry Hall, Streatham was founded. The community and school grew and developed. At the outbreak of World War II the school was evacuated to Worthing and subsequently to Haslemere and Liphook before finally coming to Edenbridge in September 1943.

The sisters have had communities in Ashtead, Leatherhead, and Woking. After an absence of 55 years the sisters returned to London in 1994 and founded a community in Vauxhall. In 2003 the community moved from Vauxhall to Tooting. In 2013 both the community house in Tooting, and Edenbridge (after 70 years of fruitful ministry in Education, care for the Elderly and in the latter years a Retreat Centre) closed, to make way for a new period in the history of the Congregation in England with the beginning of a foundation in Lewisham/Blackheath, in January 2014.

It is here in this peaceful oasis close to the heart of the City and its multicultural population that the community will continue its ministry of welcome to pilgrims for a retreat or a time of rest and silence, as well as being involved in other ministries both in the local area and further afield. A new and challenging time has just begun!

Click here to read our Annual Report for 2014


An Urban Oasis


An international gathering at Eden Hall
of sisters coming from different communities

For more information about our life, our history and the countries where we are present click here