Institute for Anglican Religious Life, St Antony’s Priory




St Antony’s Priory, 74 Claypath, Durham DH1 1QT


0191 384 3747

Alternative Names

Society of the Sacred Mission (SSM)

Contact & Job Title

Dr Scholastica Jacob, Librarian and Archivist

Purpose & main user community of the library

The library contains theology, biblical, patristic, Church history and philosophical works. There are also sections on prayer and mysticism, modern spirituality, religious life, the study of religion and comparative religions, psychology and social sciences. A specialist collection on Anglican religious communities and theology is being developed. The library is used by students and academics, retreatants and those attending courses at the priory.

Terms of access

Anyone may visit the library, but membership is required to borrow books.

Opening hours

Weekdays 10am to 4pm or by special arrangement outside these hours.

Disabled access

It is on the ground floor and accessible to wheelchair users.

Number of volumes

c. 4,000

Periodicals – Back Issues


Current Periodicals


Other materials

None at present

Volumes added per year

c. 500

Special Collections

Rare and out-of-print works on Anglican religious life



Research resource

Provides a specialist research resource in Anglican theology, history and religious communities. Archival material is also being collected and will be available.

Catalogue Type


URL of catalogue
Other facilities

Study space, seminars run in partnership with the university and occasional library talks. The site also provides spiritual direction and accommodation for retreats.

Full Time Staff

None at present specifically working on the library, but other staff members are able to assist readers and visitors.

Part Time Staff

One (in the library)

Voluntary Staff


Changes in next five years affecting the above

A study centre, archives and specialist library of Anglican religious life material is being developed. It is expected this will be live in autumn 2024. Details of the progress may be found on In due course an additional library catalogue will be available as well as archive catalogues, reading rooms and study space.

Anything else about the library

The library is a welcoming space for readers and browsers. Set in the centre of St Antony’s Priory, it provides a theological library in a living Christian centre with a chapel and regular daily prayer. It has stunning views of Durham cathedral and castle. The new institute building will be on the same site.