Saturday, 27 June 2020

Sussex Sects (Sussects?)

On recent walks in the countryside around the pretty village of Robertsbridge, a few miles north of Hastings, we encountered small groups of distinctively dressed people that I had noticed off and on over recent years whenever in the area. Turns out they are part of a rural religious community called The Bruderhof. In the present social and economic circumstances their existence is of more relevance and they are worth checking out. See for example here and here. They occasionally get into the mainstream media (see here).

Coincidentally I was also reading John Burke's book on Sussex (pub 1974, in the 1970s Batsford series) in which I learned about another group called The Society of Dependants, a Christian sect founded by John Sirgood in the nineteenth century in the Sussex village of Loxwood. I had never heard of them previously - unlike the Bruderhof/Darvell Community they no longer appear to exist. Also known as The Cokelers more information can be found here  here and here.

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