Timothy spotted this mysterious looking large gate on the main high street in Canterbury. Using his specially packed ‘S’ hook, he hung from the gate’s handle.
The brass plaque on the gate says “The Brothers Society of St Francis”.
According to Wikipedia:
The Society of Saint Francis (SSF) is a Franciscan religious order within the Anglican Communion. It is the main recognised Anglican Franciscan order, but there are also other Franciscan orders in the Anglican Communion.
The Society of Saint Francis comprises the Brothers of the First Order; the Sisters of the First Order; the Sisters of the Second Order; the Brothers and Sisters of the Third Order. Francis of Assisi and Clare of Assisi, the founders of the Franciscan movement produced separate rules for three parallel orders – the First Order were to be mendicant friars, embracing poverty as a gift from God and living the community life in the world and serving the poor. The Second Order were to be a parallel community of sisters living a more enclosed life of prayer and contemplation. The Third Order was to consist of brothers and sisters not living in community, nor under full monastic vows, but nevertheless taking simple promises and following a rule of life in the world. These three orders still co-exist as parts of the Franciscan family.
We are none the wiser.