For Associates

This is a private page containing information for Associates. If you have any general queries, please contact Catherine Mann, the Liaison Associate, on Otherwise, please use the contact information provided.  From the ‘For Associates’ tab there are links to the Intercessions and Retreats and Quiet Days pages.                                 Last update: 16th April 2017

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The Community Prayer

The angel said to Mary:  Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.  Luke 1:28

Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.  Luke 1:42

Almighty God, by your angel Gabriel you chose Mary to be the mother of our only Son Jesus Christ our Lord, filling her with grace and calling her blessed:  give to us who are gathered into one Community under her name, grace to walk in her footsteps; to be lowly, obedient, faithful, and to say in all things and at all times, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.  Let it be to me according to your word.”  Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Written by the Founder – William John Butler


Associates’ Guiding Principles

Associates undertake to share in the Community’s life and spirit through:Rhoda statue

  • Regular worship at the Eucharist
  • Daily prayer and Bible reading.
  • Regular intercession for the Community and fellow Associates.
  • Setting aside time for a regular retreat or quiet day.
  • Concern and compassion for the needy.
  • Simplicity of lifestyle and reverence for God’s world.
  • Fellowship and support for the Community and fellow Associates.


Steering Committee:

Rosie Feuell  Retreats and Quiet Days. 01223 213305  
Jane King Wilkinson Letters  01749 813757
Catherine Mann Membership Secretary and mailings 01235 798145
Sue Thwaite Subscriptions and Donations 01235 223554

Bookings for retreats etc to the Guest Wing, please:    Telephone: 01235 763141

 News    Renewal of Promise      Intercessions     Retreats and Quiet Days  Donations



St Mary’s Convent, Wantage OX12 9AU



Greetings to you all from Botswana which was last in the international news a few days ago when we experienced an earthquake, not something typical of this country at all!

Back in February, the item considered newsworthy was cyclone Dineo.  It rained without stopping for about 4 days, very much needed rain which filled the large reservoir outside Gaborone, the capital city of over 200,000, to great rejoicing.  The reservoir had been nearly empty for a couple of years and all water for people in the south east of Botswana came by pipe from the north east of the country.

The dryness of SE Botswana is the norm most of the time and explains partly why very few people harvest more than a few beans and melons in most years.  The vast majority of the Batswana are dependent on paid work or welfare programmes: it is in many respects considered a middle income country, but there are always people who fall through the gaps.  Jesus’ words are as true as always “the poor you will always have with you”.

CSMV sisters lived in Gaborone from 1973 to 1988.  Since then, Wantage Overseas has continued to send money regularly to enable some people not to suffer from the holes in the system.  Six weeks ago my husband Frank and I had the joy of hosting Sr. Stella for a few days, the first time this century that a sister has managed to get here.  We visited two day centres running pre-school programmes for orphans and vulnerable children, and the Hospice in Gaborone which responds to the needs of terminally ill people with a day centre, medical and nursing care, and meals, all in a friendly, caring and Christian environment.  We also saw a few of the individuals who are being helped with WO money, among them a father of 4 boys, whose wife died last year.  One of the boys is having physiotherapy for his TB spine and extra cash is needed for the petrol to get him to physio appointments.

So many of the needs in this country are related to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.  Far fewer people die young than in the 1990’s as anti-retro viral drugs are now provided very widely by the government.  

But there are still many orphan children and mothers with compromised health.

The last visit we made with Sr Stella was to three especially delightful ladies, Associates, who had been very close to the Sisters when they lived here.  Their joy in seeing one the sisters come back to visit was really wonderful.

Another aspect of life in Botswana is the number of Zimbabweans living legally and illegally here.  Life in Zimbabwe is almost impossible for many people, who will often take any work they can get, if our Immigration authorities allow them.  I am often in awe of their patience when they say “We are praying”.   A letter from a friend in Bulawayo recently reflected on “long suffering ordinary Zimbabweans who prefer these conditions to a bloody civil war”.

Today many Batswana are turning to the prosperity churches, often west African in origin.    Faith is real whatever form it takes.  I am often touched and encouraged when people facing all sorts of difficulty, say “Modimo o teng”.  GOD IS HERE.  Indeed!

When one leaves another here, after a chat or visit, one says “Sala sentle”,  Stay Well!

My wish for you all.


Margaret Taylor



Associates’ Library

Associates are now very welcome to borrow books from the Guest Wing Library – situated in the Top Floor Sitting Room of the Guest Wing.
With this in mind, the Associates’ Steering Committee has agreed that the Associates’ Library be dismantled, and the books amalgamated as appropriate, with the Guest Wing Library.


Associates and Oblates Candlemas 18th Feb 2017 in South Africa
We had a very special Candlemas on Sat morning 18th Feb. together with the Oblates, Sister Stella and Nick. It is always a very special time for all of us but this time was extra special due to having Sister Stella and Nick with us. We only meet once a year but the fellowship is always warm and inspires us for months to come. Father David Swanepoel gave a thought provoking sermon and his warmth and sincerity could be felt by all of us.
It was a joy and a blessing to have Sheila and Jenny admitted as Associates and one could see they were blessed by the occasion.
Nick took lots of photographs during which there was much laughter as we posed for the perfect shot. This has been captured for all time.
It is difficult to put into words how we were blessed to get to know Sister Stella. She is truly an example of a person who walks with God.
Tea and lunch were happy occasions filled with chatting and catching up on each others news. Eldene, one of the Associates, provided us with a most delicious lunch.
The weather was divine……hot and sunny. We could not have wished for better.
We all left reluctantly after lunch having been filled with fellowship and spiritual blessings.
We appreciate the prayers of the CSMV sisters and Associates around the world.
Sheila Newby writes:  I am daughter of the late Canon Charles Carter and my mother was a nursing sister. I, with my twin brother John, grew up in a loving Christian home in various parishes in the Western Cape, South Africa. Following graduating as a medical social worker, I practiced as a social worker for a number of years with oncology patients and later with child emergency services. I have two children, Mark and Tarryn (now adults). I came into contact with CSMV when Sister Elizabeth Jane stayed at my small B & B in Irene. We have been living in Irene for the past 27 years and have been members of the St Martin’s parish for the same length of time. St Martins is closely associated with Irene Homes (founded by the CSMV) and over the years, I have supported the many events and activities of the homes. I look forward to being associated with CSMV and in my small way be able to support and contribute to their wonderful work for our blessed Lord, through prayer, fellowship and practice.
Jenny Tinkler writes:  My full name is Jennifer Ann Tinkler.  I was born on Ist February 1940 into an Anglican family.  Although during my lifetime I have attended other churches, I am now a member of St Martin’s in the Field, Irene, Gauteng, South Africa.  I am a qualified nursing sister and have also trained as a Palliative Care Consultant.   Daily prayer and regular attendance of the Eucharist service are an integral part of my daily life.

(See photos on the main News page – scroll down to find the report on Sr Stella’s visit)

Prayer requests:

In South Africa – Associate Gail Kelly has asked for our prayers as she has recently heard her cancer has come back and she is on 3 weekly bouts of chemo.
Also for Associate Sandra Andersen’s son Erik. He is missing complex lll of the mitochondrial DNA and is confined to a wheelchair. He spends a fortune sending blood samples to labs all over the world to scientists who are doing research. We are sure with God’s help and guidance he will find the key to regaining his strength. He is married and has a baby boy.
In Wantage – Associate Heleena Yates, recovering from a hip replacement operation.
Thanksgiving for the life of Judith Scott’s brother Howard who died in February.


JOAN AUGUR  RIP  February 16th 2017
In the 1980’s, Joan and her husband Derek, met our Sister Natalie who was in the CSMV house in Abingdon.  They became good friends and Sister introduced them to the Convent, where both were admitted as Associates.  They have continued to be most faithful.  Joan was a gentle and loving person, who used to share her thoughts and hopes when they came to stay on the Guest Wing.  Her strong commitment to the faith meant that she and Derek shared a special ministry in prayer for their local church.  Frailty in old age did not dim their love but rather strengthened it.  We pray in thanksgiving for her, for Derek and the family. May she rest in peace and rise with Christ in glory.


EDWINA AMIES   RIP  March  2017
Edwina Amies died peacefully in a nursing home aged 94 years.  Edwina had been a faithful Associate for many years and was the sister of our Sister Irene Benedict CSMV.   Edwina’s funeral took place in Shelley near Huddersfield on Tuesday 11th April.  May she rest in peace and rise with Christ in glory.


BRENDA SMITH   RIP 19th February 2017
Brenda Smith had been a long-standing and faithful Associate of CSMV since 1973.  Latterly, she generously gave her time as a member of the Associates’ Steering Group, being responsible for producing the thoughtful and reflective Intercession Leaflet each quarter – for which we are most grateful.
Brenda grew up in Warwickshire, attending Warwick School, followed by a teacher training course, after which she taught in various schools.  The later part of her life was then spent in looking after elderly parents.  By nature Brenda was studious, but also practical:  an excellent driver, generous in offering hospitality, and a staunch and true friend.
About two years ago Brenda was diagnosed with cancer, and underwent various kinds of treatment, experiencing some periods of respite.  After Christmas however, she deteriorated quite rapidly, dying in Warwick Hospital aged 76 years.
A Memorial Requiem was held at All Saints Church, Warwick on 13th March , attended by a large congregation – a truly inspirational occasion.
May she rest in peace and rise with Christ in glory.



Please book as early as you can for retreats and quiet days.  See full list on the ‘retreats’ page.
IGR 16th-20th May closing date for bookings 4th May
Associates’ Day 2017Saturday, 17th June


CSMV Associates’ Regional Events:
In our Eastern area (Bury, Cambridge, Herts., Berks. & Bucks. etc.) we are holding another meeting on Friday 12th May at St Michael’s Priory, Milton Keynes including a shared Eucharist.   If you are within travelling distance of this but have not so far been in touch – do consider joining us:  Lifts may be available from nearby station or bus routes.  Please book in with Wendy Carey, celebrant, on or myself, Rosey Feuell, on 01223 213305
Wantage & Oxford Area  are having an informal meeting at CSMV Wantage on Saturday 6th May, with a discussion on the future format. 
10 am             Mass in Chapel of St Mary Magdelene
Followed by Coffee and Discussion/Chat
1 pm               Lunch
Cost:  £10 for the day, including drinks and lunch. 
£45 overnight stay (to include day).
Contact:         Sue Thwaite     01235 223554
Or book directly with CSMV Reception, 01235 763141 or by 24th April please.



Facebook group:
If you would like to be part of a private Facebook page (only accessible for Associates – a virtual ‘Regional’ group) please contact Catherine Mann at   You will then be sent details of how to join this group kindly maintained by Wendy Carey.


Renewal of Promise for Associates of CSMV

As part of the afternoon session on Associates’ Day those present renewed their promise with these words.  

Associates’ Link Sister:

   In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen

Associates Link Sister:

   As you renew your promise as Associates, let us pray for ourselves and for all Associates unable to be with us today.

   Do you each wish to continue to be united in prayer and fellowship with the Community of St Mary the Virgin as an Associate?

Associates: I do

   Let us say the Beatitudes together:

   Blessed are the poor in Spirit

For theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven

   Blessed are those who mourn

For they shall be comforted

   Blessed are the meek

For they shall inherit the earth

   Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness

For they shall be satisfied

   Blessed are the merciful

For they shall obtain mercy

   Blessed are the pure in heart

For they shall see God

   Blessed are the peacemakers

For they shall be called the children of God

   Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake

For theirs is the kingdom of heaven

   Let us pray:

All: Our Father in Heaven ……..

Associates’ Link Sister:

Almighty Father, by your Holy Spirit the Blessed Mary Virgin received grace to believe and obey your word; send your Spirit on all Associates and on all the Sisters of this Community that, being filled with your grace, we may proclaim your greatness and rejoice to follow your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever. Amen.

All: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all evermore. Amen.


Donations                                2016 Review of Donations

We are very grateful for your donations at Candlemas to give thanks for the work of CSMV. They enable us to offer retreats at a reasonable cost and to keep you in close contact with the Convent through:

  • A quarterly mailing of news, prayers and details of retreats
  • Paying for Retreat Directors and other expenses for retreats
  • Offering Retreat bursaries to help those on a low income
  • The full cost of running the Associates’ Day
  • Some expenses incurred by the Steering Committee, e.g. travel costs

We have reviewed the way we currently deal with donations and have decided to simplify the arrangements.

In future, please would you send all cheques, gift aid forms and standing order forms directly to the Bursary, (Mrs J Marett,  Bursary Clerk,  St Mary’s Convent,  Wantage  OX12 9AU) so that we can bank donations more quickly. Please make your cheques payable to ‘CSMV’ and write ‘Associates’ on the back. 

We always look forward to reading the correspondence you send us and hope you will still send letters with your cheques – these will be forwarded to Jane King-Wilkinson who would be delighted to hear from you at any time.

Miss J King-Wilkinson, 3 Bruelands, Bruton, Somerset, BA10 OHX



We give thanks for the continuing inspiration and witness of the Religious Life, and for those of you who, as Associates, witness to the values of the Religious Life in your own lives.  Indeed as you ponder your own commitment and link with CSMV, you may like to reflect upon the following questions:

What is important to me today about being a CSMV Associate?

If I were to commend being a CSMV Associate to others, what would I say?


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