The Anchorite is a medieval term used for one who has removed themselves from the world in order to pursue a purely spiritual or ascetic calling but without fulling taking on the ordination or call in a church. Many anchorites lived in anchorholds that were attached to the outside of church communities so as not to be fully in the world but not fully in the church as well!
Julian of Norwhich is one of the most famous of the anchoresses. A recent biography of her is reviewed in the latest Englewood Review of Books.
Many people I come across in my daily comings and goings are living in an anchorite style. Not fully part of a church community, not fully in the world, but living attached to the brick wall of the institutional church. There lives are lived looking through windows into the church world and into the secular world.
They are those to whom we should be in intense conversation (as church folk) and dialogue! What a wisdom of perspective they might bring to our callings and communities.
"Anchorite": who in your journeys would you ascribe this title too? When was the last time you truly spoke with them?