We were so glad that we could be in church for most of Advent.
The Porch have been doing a splendid job through the year. Here are members of the team, taking a break, outside the new building where those in need could come and collect a takeaway meal.
Here is Guy, the Porch Manager, dressed in his Christmas finery, with a tray of meals to take up to the Magdalen church building that has been used these last few months.
October/ November 2020
Harriet Brownlow Byron, our Founder back in 1851 was a remarkable woman. Here is a photo of her in the clothes that were being worn at that time. We are so glad not to be wearing those starched veils anymore!
We celebrated our Founder’s Day on the 18th October, also St Luke’s day and our Companion, Hugh White came and celebrated and preached for us.
Remembrance Sunday was very different this year and we had our own focus in Chapel to remember with gratitude all who have given their lives for our country through the years, with particular remembrance for the huge numbers who died in the First and Second World Wars.
We have had to get used to wearing our face coverings all the time. Helen Mary is in church with her visor while Frances , in her mask , is standing in front of the flowers she arranged in front of Our Lady’s statue.
We have not hosted or visited many events over the last few months due to the Covid virus, but life has been going on here, nevertheless!
We are so pleased that those closely associated with us, St John’s Home, the Porch and Helen and Douglas House have all been able to keep everyone safe and well and also continue their vital work. The Porch recently purchased a smart new blue van in which they can deliver meals to the less mobile and visit members who have been shielding. We are delighted that Jon, the Director, wanted our Community cross on the van, along with the Queen’s award.
Talking of loading, we had a very good harvest of apples and here is Nick our long serving gardener with some of them while Frances is admiring the pear tree just outside All Saints!
I was grateful to be able to get away in August and I visited again our old All Saints hospital at Eastbourne. The site now houses flats within the old buildings, the Chapel is now used for concert venues and the public have access to a garden adjacent to the old hospital.
These Covid virus months have been very difficult for so many people and continue to be so.
We are very thankful for the lovely gardens here which we can share with the residents of St John’s Home, those staying in Helen House and the team at the Porch. Our gardeners have been doing a great job!
The first photo shows Rachel, Lorraine and Kizzie from the Porch team who have been doing a great job cooking and delivering meals to the most vulnerable during the pandemic.
The second and third ones are of Helen Mary who celebrated her birthday this July . She is great at flower arrangements and this is just one of those we have enjoyed!
Jean and Frances are relaxing after supper outside Brownlow, our guest house in the next photo.
It has been wonderful to be back in church these last couple of weeks and the ministry team have done a great job in making it possible – a big thank you!
Pic 1 - Helen Mary, our retired Head of Gardening! She loves gardening when she can and here she is by her pond in the Sisters garden, a small area behind the guest house.
Pic 2 - We are still very much novices at selfies – here we are in the garden outside All Saints.
Pic 3 - We have been outside every Thursday evening clapping or ringing bells for the NHS and in particular, for our very special care workers and staff who keep St John’s Home running with lots of love and care.
Pic 4 - Jean Raphael our Sacristan Sister sorting out books in the Vestry.
Due to the Corona virus, like everybody else, we are practising the restrictions laid down by the government. We went through the Holy Week services as usual but obviously didn’t have a Eucharist ‘celebrated’.
Having the privilege of our Chapel has meant we have been able to continue with our rhythm of Office ( set times of prayer together morning and evening) and Eucharist.
Here is a photo of our tabernacle in the Chapel on Maundy Thursday after the ‘stripping’ of the altar and then our Easter garden on Easter Sunday. The garden itself looking wonderful! Also, our Sister Jean Raphael in the greenhouse, watering.
Sr Helen SLG joined me in attending the Diocesan Synod , held in Reading on Saturday 14th March. The Synod has invited Religious from our Diocese to attend the meeting as the ‘praying presence’.
We were delighted to accept the invitation and to see and hear some very dynamic people giving presentations , particularly on Climate Change. I was very impressed at the sheer enthusiasm of these members of PCCs in our diocese and who are giving generously of their time and talents for us all.
Many congratulations to Mark Humphriss, Diocesan Secretary and his PA, Caroline Todd for a successful meeting at a very challenging time!
The annual Ox clean was held on a very wet and windy day at the end of February. Here we are, Monawar Hussain and Jawaid Malik from the mosque along with and myself from the parish church.
It was so good to work together and share our experiences – thank you to all the organisers and for the Dept from the Council who made sure that all the rubbish was collected promptly. Well done everybody!
We were sorry to say goodbye to Tibor Bakti at the end of February. Tibor came first as a student helper 7 years ago and stayed on as a Gardener when we moved out of the old Convent building in 2013.
He has been working for us recently on maintenance as well as the garden and we will miss him but hope his new venture works well.
Here he is on the right in the blue tee shirt, with Garden Director, Diana, Nick, our gardener of many years and Lisa, who joined the team last year – they do a great job in keeping the grounds beautiful for everyone!
Sisters were very pleased to welcome the team from oPHI, Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative to the guest house this month for their retreat and conference.
The organisation is an economic research centre within Oxford Department of International Development at the University . Their work is seeking to build a multi-dimensional framework for reducing poverty, grounded in people’s experiences. Apart from running academic and technical training programmes, it collaborates with governments and policy makers and its methodologies have been adopted by national governments and the UN Development programme Human Development report.
We were delighted that they found our site congenial for their time together and hope to welcome them again in the future! Some of the sisters met up with them in the Old School building pictured here.