The John Sebastian Marlow Ward Website

The Spiritual Journey of J.S.M. Ward

About John Sebastian Marlow Ward
Early Life of J.S.M. Ward
Ward as a Medium & Spiritualist
Ward and Freemasonry
JSM Ward as a Historian
J.S.M. Ward as an Author
J.S.M. Ward and the Abbey of Christ the King
The Abbey Church in Barnet
The Folk Park
Ward and the Anglican Church
Ward and the Masonic Research Society
Churchill Sibley and the Orthodox Catholic Church
Ward and the Orthodox Catholic Church
The Abbey and the War
The Dorothy Lough Case
Mar Georgius and the Katholicate of the West
The Consecrations
The Consecration of Bishop Chamberlain
Ward driven from England.
The Community in Cyprus
Death of J.S.M. Ward
Ward's Work survives his Death
Key Associates of J.S.M. Ward
His Mystic partner, Jessie Ward
Life of John Churchill Sibley
Last of Ward's priests; Peter Gilbert Strong
Ward's son; John Reginald Cuffe
Other Individuals Associated with JSM Ward
The Spiritual Journey of J.S.M. Ward
Ward as a Mystic
Ward and the First Apocalypse
Other Key Apocalypses
Ward and the Return of Christ
The Legacy of J.S.M. Ward
The Basic Theology of J.S.M. Ward
WARD'S THEOLOGY; The Nature of God
WARD'S THEOLOGY: The Work of Salvation
WARD'S THEOLOGY; God's Great Plan
The Mystical Theology of J.S.M. Ward
From our vantage point in history, looking back at an earthly life that ended in sanctity, more than half a century ago, it is hard to imagine the young John Ward as a seeker just like many of us today.
We always tend to see him as the great scholar and mystic that he became before the end of his life, and tend to lose sight of the fact that it took him many years of struggle to reach that position. We see him as the exponent of many once-controversial beliefs, that today are much more widely accepted, at least partly because of his efforts.
Ideas such as the Coming of Christ to usher in a New Age,   The Female Aspect of the Godhead, Reincarnation for all, and a clear Understanding of Life After Death, though they may not have originated with him, have nevertheless become more widely accepted because of his work. As a result it is hard for us to conceive of a John Ward who lacked such knowledge, yet if we are to understand his spiritual journey and perhaps begin to follow in his footsteps, we must do so. 
In a sense, the spiritual journey of John Sebastian Marlowe Ward began soon after his birth, for as he himself was later to acknowledge, he received his grounding in the Christian faith from his father, the Reverend Herbert Ward. 
Strangely, perhaps, although Herbert was later to acknowledge that he had been a believer in reincarnation for many years, John himself was only vaguely aware of the belief before he went to the Far East in 1914.

It was earlier the same year that he had first been made aware that he was psychic[1], when shortly after the death of his uncle H J Lancaster, the latter contacted him from the realms beyond.


These two events were followed in 1916 by the death of his younger brother, Rex, in the blood-stained fields of Flanders, after which John Ward spent some months working on the Astral Plane, helping Rex to become established in the Afterlife.


Ward’s spiritual journey can be broadly considered in a number of stages, which for ease of reference, are summarised below. Each section contains links with one or more pages in this, or other websites and readers who wish to research any particular point are invited to make use of them. For those who merely seek a general summary of his spiritual journey, these stages can be can be described thus;




Christian Background

His introduction as a child to basic Christian values at the hands of his father the Reverend. Herbert Ward, an ordained priest in the Anglican Church.


Introduction to the Paranormal

His introduction to the paranormal when at Cambridge (1905 – 1908) through his association with other students who were experimenting in this field. It was here that he was also introduced to Freemasonry and received special permission to become a member before he was twenty-one.


Mediumship & Life After Death

His specific introduction to mediumship firstly through a prophetic dream and then by contact from his deceased uncle H.J. Lancaster, (H.J.L.) in late 1913 & 1914.


Eastern Religions Karma  & Reincarnation

Ward’s interest in spiritual and psychic matters was further enhanced by his experiences in the Far East, from late 1914 to the beginning of 1916 where he studied Eastern rituals and their links with western Freemasonry, and came to understand the basics of karma and the doctrine of reincarnation.


Working with the Dead

Ward’s return to England was swiftly followed by the death of his brother, Rex, which led him to undertake a specific psychic task – that of helping Rex to become adjusted to  life on the Astral Plane


Freemasonry and the Ancient Wisdom

Over the next ten years his researches into the links between the rituals of Freemasonry and other secret societies, both ancient and modern, led him to become regarded as one of the foremost authorities in this field, but they also led him to the conclusion that all spiritual movements were based on the same basic principles, which in turn sprang from the same Ancient Wisdom.


The Mystical Calling of Ward

In 1927 his spiritual and psychic seeking, led him through a Great Initiation into mysticism. Through this experience he felt himself called to dedicate the rest of his life to the service of God.


Ward & the Abbey  of Christ the King

As he followed that call, and established the Abbey of Christ the King (1930) a considerable number of further mystical experiences enabled him to combine his basic Christian beliefs with his knowledge of the Ancient Wisdom, which he sought to present to the world in a number of further publications.


Ward as a great Ecclesiastic

His personal sense of his own destiny was further enhanced, late in 1934, when one of his own prophetic visions was fulfilled and he was forced to leave the Anglican Church of his parents. He later received consecration as a bishop of the Orthodox Catholic Church and became Archbishop on the death of his predecessor, John Churchill Sibley, in December 1938.


Ward & the Judgement of England

Ward experienced his personal Calvary in May 1945, just as the War in Europe came to an end. Sued by the parents of one of the members of his community, he defended her to the last, but eventually judgement was given against him and he was forced into personal bankruptcy.


Ward’s Apostolic Successions

Adverse publicity attached to the case eventually drove him to lead the community into exile in Cyprus, but it also led to him being contacted by Hugh de Willmott Newman, who was seeking to unite the various small Orthodox and Catholic Churches in England. This contact led in turn to an exchange of Valid Orders, and the consecration of Colin Mackenzie Chamberlain, Ward’s eventual successor as Archbishop.


The Final Spiritual Triumph of

J.S.M. Ward

Ward suffered a slight stroke at this time, probably as a result of the stress, but recovered sufficiently to lead his community to Cyprus, where in his own way he prepared for his own death, which came on July 2nd 1949. Thereafter he passed swiftly to that higher place that had already been prepared for him in those realms where for so long he had been a regular and welcome visitor.


[1]  Or mediumship, as he himself calls it in his introduction to “Gone West” the book in which he narrates the experience.

Christ is Coming
For Further information
Contact:  Rt. Rev. John Cuffe
               St Cecelia's Orthdox Catholic Church
               Caboolture Qld 4510 Australia.
               Telephone  61 7 5495 3393
               web sites: