In February Sister Stella travelled to Botswana and South Africa to visit Irene Homes near Pretoria, and Day care and Hospice centres in & around Gaborone, Botswana that Wantage Overseas supports. We’ve produced two short videos about the visits. You can watch them here.
We had a lovely celebration of Candlemas on 2nd February.
We began with the Blessing of Candles and then processed into St Mary Magdalen’s Chapel for a Sung Eucharist. The Revd Andrew Allen, chaplain of Exeter College in Oxford was our president and preacher, giving us a stimulating and challenging sermon. Afterwards we enjoyed coffee with all those who had gathered to be with us.
The photo below was taken by one of our guests, and shows our icon of The Presentation surrounded by snowdrops from the garden.
Greetings for the festival of Epiphany and for Epiphanytide!
We are presently enjoying having Sister Manna CN staying with us from Japan. Sister Manna is a sister of the Community of Nazareth in Tokyo – a community founded in 1936 by the Community of the Epiphany in Truro. Sadly this community no longer exists, but the festival of the Epiphany is still an important festival for Sister Manna’s community.
At Christmas, Sister Manna decorated our Christmas Tree with gingerbread stars and beautiful handmade origami figures – as shown in the photo below.
The Sisters wish you every
blessing for Christmas and
the New Year.
You are most welcome to join us for our Daily Office and Eucharist over this festive time.
The times of our Eucharist are as follows:
10 am Saturday 24th December CHRISTMAS EVE
9.30 am Sunday 25th December THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST
10 am Monday 26th December ST STEPHEN
10 am Tuesday 27th December ST JOHN
10 am Wednesday 28th December THE HOLY INNOCENTS
No Eucharist on Thursday 29th December
10 am Friday 30th December CHRISTMAS OCTAVE
10 am Saturday 31st December CHRISTMAS OCTAVE
9.30 am Sunday 1st January THE NAMING AND CIRCUMCISION OF JESUS
Are you interested in discovering a new way to pray & in finding some calm in the Christmas season? Why not join Michelle Eyre – one of our Community’s Oblates – with her online way of encouraging a new form of prayer. Discover a deeper relationship with God by following the ancient paths of monasticism.
Try the new Advent & Christmas series which has just been launched. One of the new tracks is by Brother Luke OSB from Mucknell Abbey. This is the link: http://www.discoveringprayer.com/Christmas. You can listen for free.
There’s also a new blog post that links to the tracks. It’s written by George, a student on placement with Discovering Prayer from Wycliffe Hall: http://www.discoveringprayer.com/4-lessons-from-st-benedict-for-Christmas.
Oblate Hansa, who is moving back to India on November 1st, 2016 after 40 years in England, was able to spend a couple of nights at the Convent to say goodbye. We much valued sharing together over a farewell tea & assuring Hansa of our loving support & prayers for this next stage of her life. We are looking forward to hearing news when she has settled & continue to wish her well in her Oblate commitment.
Dorchester Abbey was the setting for the Dorchester Area Service of Welcome for Bishop Steven Croft our new Bishop of Oxford. This service took place on Sunday 9th October and Sisters Stella, Lorna, Valeria and Elizabeth Jane were very pleased to be present to welcome Bishop Steven.
The Abbey was packed, and the Eucharist was a joyful and relaxed occasion at which Bishop Steven preached reflectively and humorously on the beginning of Psalm 96:
“O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless his name;”
At the end of the service, Bishop Steven cut the Archdeaconry cake which was shared with everyone, together with drinks.
On 30th September we had a Service of Blessing for White Lodge, which is now available for possible bookings for small groups from January 2017. Those familiar with the Convent, will know that the garden of White Lodge is situated near the end of our main drive.
One of our priests – Sister Phoebe, led us through the Service of Blessing as we walked from room to room. Everywhere, including the stairs, bathrooms and kitchen, was blessed with prayer, as well as holy water administered by Sister Phoebe with a sprig of rosemary from the garden.
This distinctive house was designed by the architect Baillie-Scott and built in 1899 as part of the Arts and Crafts Movement.
Another successful Embroidery Retreat was held in our Embroidery Workshop in July entitled “Saints and their Symbols”. The Revd David Wippell led the Retreat through power point presentations, worship and prayers. Sister Lorna also assisted with this Retreat.
Each participant chose a symbol to be worked in “Or Nue”. This is a technique which involves changing the colours of the threads which hold down the gold threads, to form a pattern. The final effect is one of a design dancing over gold. The choice of symbols included the Eagle of St John, the Lion of St Mark, the Cockleshell of St James, the Cross Keys of St Peter, the Fritillary of St Frideswide.
The photos show the Retreat in progress, together with a visit from our 100 year old Sister Catherine Naomi!
On Wednesday 7th September we welcomed one of our local clergy, the Revd Tony Lynn, to preside at our Eucharist, ably assisted by newly ordained Deacon Julie Mintern.
It was lovely to welcome Julie after her Ordination, together with Tony – both friends of CSMV.
When Tony comes to preside for us, he is always accompanied by his dogged assistant, Borage, who is also pictured here.