The Confraternity of the Kingdom of Christ was the inspired vision of John and Jessie Ward and promotes the belief in the return of Christ to earth. Currently there are three ‘Orders’ of the Confraternity with First and Second Order members living on the property as a community. A small group of Third Order members reside locally. These members make a commitment to further their own spiritual development whilst aiding the work of the Confraternity.
Community members strive to live a balanced life that revolves around attending Church Services, devotion and personal prayer and the practicalities of everyday life. The four main areas of the work of the Confraternity include the Church, the Farm, the College and the Museum. Holding public services, visiting the sick, undertaking works of charity and giving public lectures form part of the ongoing work of the Confraternity members.
The Confraternity is governed by a Chapter which elects one member from within its ranks to guide and lead the Confraternity. The residing Chaplain is assigned as a spiritual mentor for all the Confraternity members. The Community at St Michael’s reside on their 135.2 hectare property in either the Abbey House or separate dwellings.
The Community settled on the property which they called ‘St Michael’s’ in 1965. In order to support themselves, the community members cleared land, had a dam put in and developed the land into a productive farm.
Eventually a thriving agricultural business was developed producing a variety of small crops including zucchinis and sweet potatoes, with a major focus on tomatoes and pumpkins. They ceased commercial small cropping in the early nineties.
In the early days a commercial piggery was gradually developed and successfully operated until 2005. A small herd of dairy cows was also purchased for the Community’s needs and a commercial dairy was gradually established by 1994 which currently milks almost 100 cows. The farm work now revolves around the beef and dairy herds.
An intangible tranquillity and peace pervade the farm and Community grounds as the Abbey Church, Abbey Museum, St Michael’s College and Early Learning Centre all work together to achieve the Confraternity’s goals.