Members of female apostolic orders are called apostolic sisters, and their vocation is to be the hands of Christ among His people, carrying out acts of charity and love among the poor and marginalised in society, as well as working in schools, care homes, conferences, and wherever else the Church's Mission takes them.

Often confused with nuns, apostolic sisters wear either habits or ordinary clothes, and live in small communities within society. Nuns, however, always wear habits and usually live solely within their convent/monastery. Both types do essential work, but apostolic sisters are the face and hands of the Church in society.

There are many female apostolic orders in the UK, ranging from small local communities, to groups representing international movements. There's something for everyone, whether you're globetrotter or more comfortable on your home soil!

At the bottom of this page you will find links to some female apostolic communities in the UK.

Female Apostolic


Rule of St



Followed by Franciscan Sisters

Click here to view

Rule of St


Followed by Sisters of Divine Charity and Dominicans



Click here to view

Vocation story
Sr Chiara Rose  (Franciscan Sister of the Renewal)
Click here
Vocation story
Sr Eileen Airey OP
(Dominican Sister)
Click here
Vocation story
Sr Caroline
(Little Sister of the Poor)
Click here

Some numbers...

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24,600 Dominican Sisters, belonging to 150 Congregations in 109 countries.

1000 Daughters of Divine Charity in over 20 countries

Over 55,000 Catholic apostolic sisters worldwide.

Apostolic Sisters in the UK

Click on the title of an apostolic Order to go to their website.