Classic DACB Collection

All articles created or submitted in the first twenty years of the project, from 1995 to 2015.

Isherwood, Annie Cecile (B)

Alternate Names: Mother Cecile
Anglican Communion
South Africa

Annie Isherwood was an English missionary in South Africa. She came from a comfortable home in England. Orphaned in her early teens, she volunteered for mission work in South Africa. Ordained a deaconess, she became, at 21, the first member and head of the Anglican community of the Resurrection of Our Lord, founded by Bishop Allan Becher Webb in Grahamstown. She worked among the poor and destitute of all races in the eastern Cape and was ahead of her time in seeking to heal a divided society. Despite the enduring poverty of her community at St. Peter’s Home, she established schools, hostels, missions, and orphanages throughout the region. She also founded the Grahamstown Teacher Training College, the first in South Africa for women. Though she died young, she had laid the foundation of a community strong enough to expand her work.

Janet Hodgson


Mother Cecile in South Africa, 1883-1906, compiled by a sister of the community (1930).

Margaret Cropper, Shining Lights: Six Anglican Saints of the 19th Century (1963), pp. 135-165.

Horton Davies, Great South African Christians (1951), pp. 160-168.

This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.