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New Prior announced for the Community of St Anselm

The Revd Dr Rosalyn Murphy

Monday 4th December 2017

The new Prior of the Community of St Anselm, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s monastic-inspired community for young Christians, will be an Anglican priest and biblical scholar originally from the American southwest.

The Revd Dr Rosalyn Murphy, currently vicar of St Thomas’ Church in Blackpool, will take up the role in April 2018. She takes over from the Revd Anders Litzell, who was Prior of the Community since it launched in 2015.

Rosalyn has extensive experience of formation, having been a training facilitator for curates and new priests in four Church of England dioceses.

She is also a published biblical scholar, bringing a Liberation and Womanist theological perspective to her research. She has been a frequent guest lecturer at academic institutions and organisations including UNESCO and the universities of Durham, Cambridge, Kent and Bristol, among others.

Dr Murphy said: “It is indeed an honour to be selected as Prior to the Community of Saint Anselm. While it will be quite different from parish work, I’m looking forward to mentoring young Christian leaders from around the world as they seek to broaden their faith. Serving within a monastic community where there will be opportunities to teach, pastor, and learn from the diverse cultural and social experiences of others, will be a welcome challenge. I believe being part of the community will allow me to play a meaningful role in shaping the future Church on an international scale.”

Archbishop Justin Welby said: “I’m delighted that Rosalyn is coming to join the Community of St Anselm as Prior. Not only does she bring a wealth of pastoral and teaching experience, she embodies many of the central themes of our community life, which are focused on rooting young people in Jesus. Rosalyn’s personal story, significant ministry experience and the fact she is from another part of the Anglican Communion are gifts, enhancing the diverse team who collaboratively lead this community.”

Born in Texas, Dr Murphy spent most of her life in Wisconsin, where her father was an ordained Pentecostal minister in the Church of God in Christ, and her mother served as the diocesan head of women’s ministry. She has an honours degree in Communications and Theology from Marquette University, and completed postgraduate studies in International Relations at the University of Wisconsin. She received her master degree in divinity from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, before travelling to England.  Whilst in England, Dr Murphy completed a masters in theological research, and a doctorate in theology from Durham University prior to her ordination in 2005.

Rosalyn has lived in the UK for nearly 20 years with her husband Kenneth, now a retired entrepreneur and clergyman. She has two adult children, Emili and Kenneth III.

Applications for Community of St Anselm membership in 2018/19 are now open. Apply online at  


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