According to the canons of the Episcopal Church, a Christian Community is a society of Christians, in communion with the See of Canterbury, who voluntarily commit themselves for life, or a term of years, in obedience to their rule and constitution. To be officially recognized, a Christian Community must have at least six full members and be approved by the Standing Committee on Religious Communities of the House of Bishops. Each Christian Community must have a Bishop Visitor or Protector. A Christian Community may establish a house in a diocese only with the permission of the bishop of the diocese. The canons distinguish Christian communities from religious orders. The members of religious orders commit themselves for life or a term of years to hold their possessions in common or in trust, to live a celibate life in community, and to obey their rule and constitution.
Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.