I joined All Saints Sister of the Poor after a very fulfilling career in teaching and social work. I was married for 23 years and have a stepfamily who are very close to my heart. However, I had lived and worked with Religious Communities in Africa during my twenties, and the call came to me some years after I had been widowed. I love the quiet rhythm of work in the Sacristy and spend time in the garden when I can. My time as Community Leader has called on an unexpected variety of my life experiences, and God is always teaching me more.
From the age of three I wanted to be a nurse. School was a struggle but I finally started training at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street and the Middlesex Hospital. I planned to work abroad with an NGO when I qualified but to everyone’s surprise, not least my own, I realised God was calling me to be a member of a religious community. I was 23 when I became a postulant with All Saints Sisters of the Poor in 1966, and I took Life Vows in 1972.
Paediatric palliative care, active concern for those who are homeless, in prison or suffering from addiction, are among the ways I have been able to live out my calling, however imperfectly. Day by day our call to be alongside the poor or marginalised offers life-enhancing blessings and opportunities beyond our imagining.
I am both the oldest and the longest serving sister, having entered the community in 1955. I trained as a nurse at the Middlesex Hospital in London, and then spent over 30 years nursing in the community.
For many years, I was responsible for the gardens here in Oxford, a role I enjoyed as I love gardening very much. I have just relinquished this responsibility, which I hope will give me more time to enjoy looking after the sisters’ garden and also to have time to paint. I am very interested in art and have designed some of the community’s cards. Another interest is wildlife and I am a member of the Oxford Wildlife Society.
I joined All Saints Sisters of the Poor in 1991. I have had a number of roles in the Community over the years, including guest sister, sacristy work in chapel, novice guardian and Companions sister. I was ordained a priest in 2002 and have ministered in a variety of roles in Oxford, including parishes and chaplaincy. My most recent ministerial role in Oxford was as an associate chaplain in St John’s Home on our site, specialising in spiritual end of life care. I now live in Richmond in London. Having spent a year as part of the Richmond Team Ministry of three churches, I now serve across several local parishes and also give spiritual direction. My interests include English Literature (which I studied as an undergraduate at Durham University), classical music, singing and Christian art.
I came into religious life having worked for many years in supermarket retailing, mostly with Waitrose. The Lord has a great sense of humour and has put many of my past work experiences to good use in the community! The call to religious life burned away slowly as I became more and more involved in my London parish: I joined All Saints in 2005, making my Life Profession in 2011. My main work so far has been as guest sister, but I am also the unofficial community photographer.
I love most sports and am a Life member of Middlesex County Cricket Club. I am also a passionate music lover, particularly singing.