The town has a recent history connected with the industrial revolution of the 19th Century as many mills for spinning, felting and weaving wool were located along the Cotswold streams. At the beginning of the 20th century a local art and craft college was built by public subscription, furthering the art and craft impulse native to the area. At one time Stroud boasted several railway stations and even two competing rail companies. At the present station the great Isambard Brunel designed the goods shed, recently rescued from demolition. Through to the present day Stroud has maintained a wide variety of expression in the artistic, spiritual and social life alongside, and often overlapping with, the industrial heritage. A good example is the Pangolin Foundry which casts some of the largest artistic bronze sculptures in Europe. This picture is complemented by a number of local initiatives with an Anthroposophical background in the fields of the performing arts, social welfare, curative and mainstream Waldorf education, therapy and medicine. This all provides both a challenging and inviting surrounding for the work of The Christian Community in Stroud.