Ashram Community began in 1967, with the intention of developing committed urban communities, which would develop appropriate new forms of Christian community related to urban needs. This led to having inner-city Community Houses in the 1970’s to 1990’s, in seven cities. Now, it is concentrated in Sheffield. There are three 2-person Community Houses and three Community Flats, plus two shop projects. The first of these, the Ashram Centre and New Roots Shop (wholefoods, fruit and veg, Traidcraft) was opened in 1987. The second, the Burngreave Ashram, was opened in 2001. It is a complex of shops and residences, with accommodation for six asylum seekers, a multi-faith chapel/library, a kitchen and cafe for community groups, weekly Free Meals, and other community services, all run by volunteers, members and residents.
The Community sustains its radical Christian base through regional Branches, half-yearly Weekends and half-yearly Community General Meetings, plus Inner City Retreats, Study and Research, Summer School, Holidays, and other occasions. The Community wrote and published a “Discovery Course in Radical Christianity” called “Journey”, and sponsors Radical Christianity conferences and Radical Christian Books. In 2009, it published its story and philosophy in “A Lifestyle of Sharing” (Ashram Press.) A Study & Research Group on Christian Intentional Community involves other Communities and invites all interested.