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Russian Old Believers in the Sharpansky Skete (the Kerzhenets River Woods) in 1897

A skete is a community of Christian hermits following a monastic rule, allowing them to worship in comparative solitude, while also affording them a level of mutual practical support and security.

A skete usually has a common area of worship (a church or a chapel), with individual hermitages, or small houses for a small number of monks or nuns.

In the early tradition of Christianity, the skete was one form of monastic life, forming a bridge between the cenobium (community of monks or nuns living together) and the isolated hermitage (monks and nuns living in isolation). In the early church, once steps began to be taken to further religious ascetiscism by giving it organised forms, men and women aspiring to be hermits or anchorites, might first be sent to the skete in preparation – the skete acted as almost a 'halfway house' between the cenobium and total solitude.

The term "skete" has fallen out of use in Western Christianity; however, the eremitic communal life of the Carthusian, Camaldolese, and Carmelite hermits is similar to that in the Eastern Christian tradition.

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