Botswana & South Africa visit

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.

Candlemas

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.

 

 

Candlemas Wantage (3) icon with snowdrops

Icon of The Presentation of Christ in the Temple

Epiphany Greetings

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.

 

Sister Manna  CN

Sister Manna CN

Christmas Greetings

 

The Nativity

The Nativity

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DISCOVERING PRAYER

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.

Enjoy!

Farewell to Hansa

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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.

 

Welcome to Bishop Steven

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Dorchester Abbey

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.

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Sister Stella greeting Bishop Steven

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Sister Valeria greeting Bishop Steven

White Lodge

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.

 

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Service of Blessing

 

This distinctive house was designed by the architect Baillie-Scott and built in 1899 as part of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

 

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White Lodge

 

 

Saints and their Symbols

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.

 

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Embroidery Retreat in progress

 

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!

 

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A visit from Sr Catherine Naomi

Clergy Trio

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Julie, Tony and Borage

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.