Littlewood UE Chapel is an affiliate of the United Episcopal Church (UEC). We are a lay-led Anglican ministry in Fremont CA with overlap in northern San Jose. Our chapel uses the standard 1928 Book of Common Prayer (BCP), and one of the two Revised translations of the Bible, otherwise known as the 1901 American Bible (ASV). Metered-Psalmody is a chapel distinctive, and most of our sacred verse is 18th-century. Our weekly services are on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday evenings with quarterly Holy Communion. See exact times below or click ‘here‘.
In the United States, Anglicanism was the English Church reformed to its Primitive condition yet adapted to circumstances rising from American Independence. The United Episcopal Church continues that history with congregations across the country. The prochapel is a “little congregation” of United Episcopalians for the lower Bay Area and beyond.
Our home ministry receives support from the Rev’d Paul Castellano. The Rev’d Paul visits us from southern California, chiefly to administer Holy Communion. Fr. Paul is a sound preacher, and his sermons are given ‘here‘. The chapel usually publicizes Fr. Paul’s scheduled visits at our Events Page.
Our goal is to regularly catechize and to promote “methodistic” holiness as explained throughout this website. “Methodistic” implies living by a General Rule. The fastest way to get involved is to ask about weekly services. We are available any time for both questions and visits.
Please contact Mr. & Mrs. Charles Bartlett
Private Services (in Fremont. please RSVP):
- Wednesdays & Fridays 6pm, Class Meeting and/or Family Prayer
- Sundays (every week) 4pm, Evening Prayer & Catechism
- other Solemnities to be announced (e.g., Covenant Service, Love Feast)
- Sunday (x 4/yr) 4pm, Holy Communion & Sermon
Our two main Rites are Evening Prayer and Class Meetings. Generally speaking, as a house church, our ceremony is predictably simple or “low“. We neither use vestments nor candles. Most rites consist of reading the Bible accompanied with song and prayer.
Evening Prayer adds a bit more, reciting the Creed plus other liturgical responses. Evening Prayer is our principal connection to the English Church, and the daily order for Evening Prayer may be read in the first half of our Prayer Book (p. 29-36). Our use of Evening Prayer on the Lord’s Day helps those without a second duty (an afternoon service) to better keep the Christian Sabbath.
Congregations with minimal ceremony– though earnest about heartfelt conversion and pursuit of holy life– are sometimes called “methodistic”. A visible mark in being “methodistic” is the Class Meeting. Classes are for Christians who have a form yet want the power of Godliness. To that end, we pledge to meet in small companies to pray, exhort, and watch one another in love, tending our salvation with a shared Rule. This was the basic scheme of the Anglican Reverend John Wesley, who said, “The Gospel of Christ knows of no religion, but social; no holiness but social holiness.”
It should be recalled the Reverend John Wesley was an Anglican minister and never intended his methodistic classes to leave the Church of England. Indeed, Wesley warned,
“We do not call ourselves Methodists at all. That we call ourselves members of the Church of England is certain. Such we ever were, and such we are to this day.”
And, “We, by such a separation should not only throw away the peculiar glory God has given us, but should act in contradiction to that very end which we believe God hath raised us up, [...so] the first message of all our preachers is to the lost sheep of the Church of England.”
Methodistic influence upon the American Prayer Book was partly evidenced by Protestant Episcopalians adopting in 1789 “Forms of Prayer to be used in Families” (p. 587-600). Anglicans, like Wesley, were serious about domestic piety. If combined with a general rule, family prayer can be like a class meeting.
Our purpose is to use both public and private rites, like Evening Prayer and Class Meetings, to grow in the knowledge and love of God. Please join us at our family Altar as we seek the plentiful blessings of eternal Jehovah.
There is a long history of involvement between Methodists and Anglicans. For example, Jacob Duche’ is a favorite Anglican reverend who opened his United Parish to traveling Methodist preachers in Philadelphia. Duche’ was also the first chaplain of the Continental Congress. His good deed was arguably returned by Matthew Simpson– a Methodist Bishop from Kentucky. Simpson assisted evangelical Episcopalians with forming their own jurisdiction for the States in 1871. By 1876 this reforming movement spread to the UK, conferring episcopacy to calvinist methodists and even holiness churches. It’s from this evangelical succession that William Littlewood obtained the episcopate in 1972 for continuing Anglicans in California and the West Coast. Our ethos follows Protestant ecumenicism of evangelical Episcopalians and their early methodist societies.
[The Rev'd Jacob Duche is pictured above]
As an affiliate of UECNA, our doctrine is plainly summed by the English Bible, Apostles’ Creed, and 39-Articles. The 39-Articles is the oldest Protestant confession used by a Reformed church, so it tends to comprehend more recent Statements of Belief. In England, educated laity who interpreted or otherwise communicated church teachings to the public gave assent to these standards as true to scripture.
Our catechizing closely follows the Book of Homilies as commended by the Articles. We also use John Lewis’ Catechism. The Lewis Catechism was popular during the 18th & 19th centuries largely due to the leavening work of SPCK.
Likewise, our bible commentaries are from Anglican ministers who advanced pious reformation, namely, Bps. George Horne & Simon Patrick; the Rev’ds Daniel Whitby, Thomas Scott, and, of course, John Wesley. A Critical Commentary and Paraphrase on Holy Scriptures (1822) compiles the scriptural studies of several of the above-mentioned divinity.