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 a Revised translation of the Bible, otherwise known as the 1901 American Bible (ASV). Metered-Psalmody is a 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 arising from American Independence. The United Episcopal Church continues that heritage with congregations across the country. The prochapel is a “little congregation” of United Episcopalians, and other Christians, having fellowship in the lower Bay Area and beyond.
Our home ministry receives sacrament 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 church minister, and his expositional sermons are given ‘here‘. The chapel usually publicizes Fr. Paul’s scheduled visits at our Events Page.
Our goal isn’t necessarily to plant a ‘church’ but to project “methodistic” holiness by regular fellowship. “Methodistic” usually implies practice(s) of 18th-century Anglicans like the Revs. Mr. George Whitefield and Mr. John Wesley. Though, for the Wesleyites, it included a General Rule– a pious discipline kept by some Anglicans. Similarly, our domestic fellowship uses a Prayer Book and Rule, promoting such with friends and visitors.
We are open to any Christian, seeking or otherwise. The fastest way to get involved is to ask about our weekly devotions. We’re 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
As an affiliate of UECNA, our doctrine is summed by the English Bible, Apostles’ Creed, Common Prayer Book, and 39-Articles. The 39-Articles is the oldest confession used by a Reformed church, so it tends to comprehend more modern Protestant 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. The Articles are kept by our Vicar and other due ministers in the UE.
The Apostles’ Creed, likewise, is derived from the truth of the Bible. Of course, the magisterial Reformation reaffirmed the Creed’s importance both by Prayer Book and Articles, but the Creed is much older, originating close to the time of the Apostles. Thus, the Creed marks the primitivism of the church. While the 39-Articles tend to work as ‘articles of peace’ among licensed or ordained ministers, the Creed is a baptismal profession common to all Christians. So, it’s a reasonable and likely proper boundary to our lay-fellowship.
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 mixed prayer.
Evening Prayer adds a bit more, reciting the Apostles’ 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 part of the Prayer Book (p. 29-36). Our use of Evening Prayer on the Lord’s Day helps those without a second duty (an afternoon service) better keep the Christian Sabbath.
Congregations with minimal (or “low”) ceremony often stress inward religion; meaning, they’re earnest about heartfelt conversion and the pursuit of holy life. During the 18th-century such low-church Anglicans might be called “methodistic”, partly due to the perceived rigor and constancy of their voluntary discipline.
A visible marker of that discipline was the Class Meeting. Classes were for Christians who had a form yet wanted the power of Godliness. To that end, Christians awakened to the danger of sin pledged to meet in small companies to pray, exhort, and watch one another in love, tending their mutual salvation by a Rule. This was the basic scheme of the Anglican Reverend Mr. John Wesley, who said, “The Gospel of Christ knows of no religion, but social; no holiness but social holiness.”
Methodistic influence among Anglicans was materially evidenced in 1789 when American Episcopalians added to their Prayer Book a “Form of Prayer to be used in Families” (p. 587-600). Anglicans, like Wesley, were serious about keeping domestic piety as a regular ordinance. Not surprisingly many classes emerged from the private worship of families. Wesleyites often met in private homes. When combined with a general Rule, family prayer can be a kind of 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, irrespective of denomination, as we seek the plentiful blessings of loving Jehovah.
To help square our faith on sure principles, our family circle regularly studies the Bible and the Church Catechism using a number of supplementary materials.
Our catechizing is assisted by regular readings from the Book of Homilies as commended by the Articles. Among numerous longer catechisms drawn by Anglicans, the Lewis’ Catechism (1700) has prominence, in the course of one hundred years, enjoying more than fifty-editions mostly due to the favor of SPCK. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Gilbert Burnet’s Exposition on the Church Catechism (1690) also has a certain grit. We favor both works for their good instruction and charitable treatment of wider-Protestantcy.
Our bible commentaries belong to 18th-century divinity, likewise known for teaching the “faith in unity of Spirit” and “righteousness of life”: namely, Bps. George Horne & Simon Patrick; the Rev’ds Daniel Whitby, Thomas Scott and, of course, John Wesley. The Critical Commentary and Paraphrase on Holy Scriptures (1822) compiles many of their studies and is frequently referenced at our private discourses.
Sadly, electronic copies of Burnet’s Exposition and The Critical Commentary are currently unavailable. But, hard copies can be purchased. Please contact us if you need help acquiring bound editions of these extremely important works.
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]