An Anglican Religious Community
for Women

OHP Priory and Chapel Inside OHP Chapel

Tertiaries of OHP

What is a Tertiary?

A tertiary is someone who has responded to a call from the Holy Spirit to live life according to a "rule".

The Order of the Holy Paraclete Tertiary Rule of Life is based on the vows taken by the order of Sisters with whom we share our name.

The Sisters are based in Whitby at Sneaton Castle and this for many Tertiaries feels like our spiritual home.

The Tertiaries come from many diverse geographical areas in the United Kingdom and overseas, and we also represent many different parts of the Church.

Although we are so diverse we have something in common and this is our calling to a specific way of living our lives – Our Rule, and our connection with the Sisters of the Order.

The Rule is based on the vows taken by the Sisters but each Tertiary personalizes their individual rule taking into account their particular circumstances of life.

What do we do?

As Tertiaries we meet together in local groups, on retreat and at Chapter.

In our local groups, the activities are decided by the members. Activities can include worship, bible study, talks, quiet days and socialising.

Our retreats are usually silent, led by a retreat conductor with plenty of time to reflect and meet with God and one another.

From time to time we gather for our conference which provides an opportunity to get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere, to learn together, and to have lots of fun and laughter.

These "gatherings" mostly take place in Whitby at Sneaton Castle, as this gives us the opportunity to meet with the Sisters and strengthen our bonds.

Chapter is our business meeting where we decide on a yearly basis the activities and shape of our Tertiary Order. This meets in York, usually in September and begins with a Eucharist.

Whenever we meet together we aim to strengthen our bonds, to get to know one another better and offer and receive support on our life’s journey.

Tertiary Cross
Tertiary Cross

Useful Quotes

Below are some comments from some of Tertiaries, past and present. If you're interested in becoming a Tertiary we would highly recommend meeting with an existing Tertiary to find out what is involved from someone who is currently living as one.

"Being a tertiary pulls me back to being in touch with God"
Revd Bruce Harrison

"Support, prayer and care – it feels like I’m coming home"
Val Neave

"Christianity is a journey into uncertainty, along which showers us with gifts – the tertiaries are one of those gifts"
Martha Jaggs

"Being a Tertiary means to me to be spiritually anchored to the Sisters and other Tertiaries; to be supported with love and prayers on our spiritual journey; and to have a feeling of coming home spiritually whenever I am at the Priory"
Revd Jane Nelson

"The Tertiary life has deepened my relationship with God and having a Rule of Life gives me something to pivot from in my Christian Life. Belonging to the Tertiary Order gives my life a special dimension"
Hazel Adamson

How do I become a Tertiary?

If you are interested in becoming a tertiary the first stage is to contact the Tertiary Warden who will take you through the next steps.

If you feel that you are to join the Tertiary Order, you will then become a Postulant. As a postulant you will be invited to participate in local group meetings if there is one near to you or become part of the ‘lone’ group for those where there is no local group. This is a "taster" stage and lasts up to 6 months.

If you then decide to make an initial commitment to the Tertiary way of life, you will take simple promises and receive a novice cross and a copy of the rule. During this stage you will be supported to form your own Rule, reflecting on your calling and your own circumstances. This stage lasts for up to two years when you will decide if this way of life is right for you and to make your life promises.

Once you have decided on this way of life, you become a full member. As a full member you will play a full part in the life of the Tertiary Order. You will be expected to make a commitment to attend Chapter whenever possible. You will make your “Life” promises and receive a new cross. Life promises are reviewed and renewed from time to time as our circumstances change.

Use the from below to contact us about becoming a Tertiary:

Send Us a Message

Tertiary Warden

The Acting Warden of Tertiaries is Mr John Bouch.

Telephone: 01226 249347

Postal address:

42 Cumberland Drive
South Yorkshire
S71 5DF