CSBC was founded in 1997, when Bp. David McCall invited Sr. Jean Johnson and Sandra Sears to the Diocese of Willochra to form Community. Sr. Jean had been a solitary religious who formed a music team to minister to church communities with limited musical resources, and Sandra was a member of that team. As a result they, with others, had conducted workshops for several years in country churches.
Sr. Jean and Sandra had a vision of forming a community to continue this work, with members living together in one house in rural South Australia. It was to be a community consisting of men and women, married and single, of any Christian denomination. The opportunity came when Bp. David asked them to set up house in Jamestown, 225 km north of Adelaide. They moved into the Anglican rectory there in January 1997. Bp David received Sr. Sandra’s vows, and Sr. Jean renewed hers on May 15 (Ascension) that year. The following January they moved to Peterborough, a further 43 km north, where they were based for the following 13 years.
By 2004 the original vision of a community based in one place had not come about. There were several friends who were interested, but due to family commitments, work, etc. could not make the move. After much prayer, the idea of a dispersed community became clear, and after much consultation with those friends, this came about in June 2005, when Bishop Garry Weatherill received the vows of three new members, from Adelaide, Moonta and Maitland.
The members were also clothed, as it was decided to go into habit at that time, although this is optional for members. The habit consists of a full length grey alb, navy blue scapular and girdle, complete with three knots (simplicity, chastity and obedience), and the Community cross.
Since then the community has grown to 11 members at present, with some members coming and going. This is the nature of the Community – hospitable and flexible.
In 2011, with Sr. Jean moving into a nursing home, the Community house moved to Gladstone, 220 km from Adelaide. Sr. Jean died in September, 2014, and Sr. Sandra lives in the Community house, which is open to guests.