How Friends of Julian of Norwich began, by Sheila Upjohn, a founder member of the Friends

The Friends of Julian of Norwich was formed in May 1984, but the idea of a fellowship had begun some four years earlier on 8th May 1980, when Julian had been recognised in the Church of England calendar for the first time.   Michael Maclean, the rector of St Julian’s, was asked to write a Collect, which has since become known and loved:


Most Holy Lord

The ground of our beseeching

Who through your servant Julian revealed

The wonder of your love

Grant that as we are created in your nature

And restored by your grace

Our wills may be so made one with yours

That we may come to see you face to face

And may gaze on you forever

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.


To mark the occasion further, Michael Maclean and Robert Llewelyn decided to put together a little book of daily readings from Julian.  They enlisted the help of two members of the congregation to provide illustrations and translate Julian’s original text.  Enfolded in Love was published on 8th of May 1980 by ‘members of the Julian Shrine’.


The original cover of Enfolded In Love, designed by Irene Ogden


The first edition sold out so fast it had to be reprinted twice the same year.   It was reprinted every year for the next three years.  By 1984 Enfolded in Love had sold over 45,000 copies. The ‘members of the Julian Shrine’ began to recognise that Julian of Norwich had friends far and wide, and that there were many more of them than we had anticipated.   Perhaps we should forge a link to bring them together?   And so the Friends of Julian of Norwich was formed.


The cover of the original membership card, designed by Irene Ogden


The first membership card shows the entrance to Julian’s cell. Inside is the Julian Collect.  Opposite is the commitment made by each Friend:

To pray regularly for the work of the shrine and its staff

To further interest in Lady Julian’s writings in whatever way I can

To contribute £….  annually to the development of the work of the Shrine.

(40 years ago the suggested amount was £1.)


Sheila Upjohn's membership card, issued in her married name Sheila Crosse


Today the Friends of Julian of Norwich has over 2,000 members in 30 countries as well as supporters on Facebook and X (formerly known as Twitter).  You can support the work we do here.


 The Julian Library holds copies of Julian’s book in in Catalan, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Israeli, Italian, Mandarin Chinese, Norwegian, Russian and Spanish.  


  • Hello JulieAnne, you can purchase a copy of ‘Enfolded in Love’ from the Friends’ ebay shop:

    Some items are also available from the shop page on this website.

  • I would very much appreciate it if you could tell me if you have any copies of “Enfolded by Love” ?? Or do you have other literature/prayers associated with Julian or the Friends of Julian? Thank you very much!

    JulieAnne Skinner

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