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150 Years of Community

Convent marks milestone

The Convent of the Holy Name in Oakwood is a place where around 20 sisters live, and from where they reach out into the community around with parish work, hospital volunteering, children’s work, and spiritual guidance.

They also offer a place of retreat, with their gardens providing a place of peace and beauty for the community and visitors.

But this is just one of a network of convents that traces its origins back 150 years.

The first two sisters were professed (took their vows) on 30th June 1865 in the London parish of St Peter’s Vauxhall, where the growing Community helped the parish priest in this area of great social deprivation.

By 1876 the community had taken as its dedication, ‘The Holy Name of Jesus,’ thus reflecting a vocation of reaching out to others in the name of ‘Jesus, Saviour.’ The founders drew inspiration from both the Catholic and Evangelical movements. A sister’s vocation, to draw others into a personal relationship with Jesus as Saviour, was rooted in the Church’s sacramental life.

In 1887 the ‘Mother House’ (Convent of the Holy Name) was established at Malvern Link, Worcestershire, while ‘mission houses’ remained in London and elsewhere in the UK. The Community moved to the present convent in Derby in 1990. Community branch houses continue to be integral to our way of life as we seek to actively and prayerfully respond to today’s needs. Today there are branches in Manchester and Peterborough, as well as southern Africa.

To mark the anniversary, they are holding an open garden event on 9th May. On 28th June they are returning to Vauxhall for their patronal festival. Then on 7th August, Dr Rowan Williams will be at Derby Cathedral for a thanksgiving Eucharist.

There is a 40 page commemorative magazine available for £3 (plus £1.20 p&p). More details on or call 01332 671716.


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From Derbyshire Church, Issue 159
The convent in Oakwood
The convent in Oakwood

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