Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark

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Archdiocese of Southwark
Archidioecesis Southvarcensis
Coat of Arms of the Archdiocese of Southwark.jpg
Coat of arms of the Archdiocese of Southwark
Country England
Territory The London Boroughs South of the Thames, the county of Kent and the Medway Unitary Authority.
Ecclesiastical province Southwark
Metropolitan Southwark
Deaneries 20
Area 3,000 km2 (1,200 sq mi)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2010)
383,265 (8.6%)
Parishes 181
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Latin Rite
Established 29 September 1850
Cathedral St. George's Cathedral, Southwark
Secular priests 274
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Metropolitan Archbishop Peter Smith
Auxiliary Bishops
Emeritus Bishops
Dioceses of the Province of Southwark. The Archdiocese of Southwark is the easternmost
Dioceses of the Province of Southwark. The Archdiocese of Southwark is the easternmost
St George's, Southwark.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark (Br [ˈsʌðɨk])[1] is a Latin Rite Roman Catholic archdiocese in England. The archepiscopal see is St. George's Cathedral, Southwark and is headed by the Archbishop of Southwark. The archdiocese is part of the Metropolitan Province of Southwark, which covers the South of England.


The archdiocese covers the London boroughs south of the Thames, the county of Kent and the Medway Unitary Authority.


The diocese is divided into three pastoral areas and 20 deaneries, each of which contain a number of parishes:

Kent Pastoral Area: 50 parishes

  • Canterbury(7): Ashford; Ashford South; Canterbury; Faversham; Herne Bay; Hersden; Whitstable.
  • Chatham(9): Chatham; Gillingham; Parkwood and Wigmore; Rainham; Rochester; Sheppey; Sittingbourne; Strood; Walderslade.
  • Dover(8): Aylesham; Buckland; Deal; Dover; Folkestone; Folkestone West; Hythe; Mongeham.
  • Gravesend(7): Dartford; Dartford-St Vincent's; Gravesend; Hartley; Meopham; Northfleet; Swanley.
  • Maidstone(7): Bearsted and Harrietsham; Cranbrook; Goudhurst; Maidstone; Maidstone South; Tenterden; West Malling.
  • Thanet(4): Birchington and Westgate; Margate and Cliftonville; Broadstairs; Ramsgate and Minster.
  • Tunbridge Wells(8): Edenbridge; Paddock Wood; Pembury; Sevenoaks; Southborough; Tonbridge; Tunbridge Wells; Westerham.

South East Pastoral Area: 66 parishes

  • Bexley(9): Bexley; Bexleyheath; Blackfen; Bostall Park; Crayford; Erith; Sidcup; Thamesmead South; Welling.
  • Bromley(13): Anerley; Beckenham; Biggin Hill; Bromley; Bromley Common; Chislehurst; Chislehurst West; Farnborough; Hayes; Orpington; Petts Wood; St Mary and St Paul's Cray; West Wickham.
  • Camberwell(6): Camberwell; Dulwich; Dulwich Wood Park; Nunhead; Peckham; Peckham Rye.
  • Greenwich(15): Abbey Wood-St Benet's; Abbey Wood-St David's; Blackheath; Charlton; Eltham; Eltham Well Hall; Greenwich; Greenwich East; Kidbrooke; Mottingham; Plumstead; Plumstead Common; Shooters Hill; Thamesmead Central; Woolwich.
  • Lambeth(13): Brixton; Brixton Hill; Clapham; Clapham Park; Italian Mission; Norbury; Norwood West; Herne Hill; Stockwell; Streatham; Streatham Hill; Vauxhall; Waterloo.
  • Lewisham(10): Beckenham Hill; Brockley; Catford; Deptford; Downham; Forest Hill; Lee; Lewisham; Sydenham; Sydenham Kirkdale.

South West Pastoral Area: 64 parishes

  • Balham(9): Balham; Battersea Park; Battersea West; Clapham Common; Earlsfield; Tooting; Tooting Bec; Wandsworth; Wandsworth East Hill.
  • Cathedral(9): Cathedral; Bermondsey-Dockhead; Bermondsey-Melior Street; Bermondsey South; Borough; Kennington Park; Rotherhithe; Surrey Docks; Walworth.
  • Croydon(13): Addiscombe; Coulsdon; Croydon South; Croydon West; New Addington; Norwood South; Norwood Upper; Old Coulsdon; Purley; Sanderstead; Selsdon; Thornton Heath; Waddon.
  • Kingston(7): Chessington; Kingston; Kingston Hill; New Malden; Norbiton; Surbiton; Tolworth.
  • Merton(9): Colliers Wood; Merton; Mitcham; Morden; Pollards Hill; Tooting (Links Road); Wimbledon; Wimbledon Park; Wimbledon South.
  • Mortlake(9): Barnes; East Sheen; Ham; Kew Gardens; Mortlake; Putney; Richmond; Roehampton; Wimbledon Common.
  • Sutton(8): Carshalton; Carshalton Beeches; Cheam; North Cheam; Sutton; Sutton Green; Wallington; Worcester Park.


Southwark was one of the dioceses established at the restoration of Catholic hierarchical structures in 1851 by Pope Pius IX. The areas which now comprise the Diocese of Portsmouth and the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton subsequently separated.

Original cathedral[edit]

The Papists Act of 1778 brought a certain limited freedom to those of the faith. Priests no longer moved in fear of imprisonment. Roman Catholics could run their own schools and could once more acquire property. In protest against the act, Lord George Gordon, on 2 June 1780, gathered a large crowd in St George's Fields to march on Westminster. Refused a hearing, they became violent and so began a week of burning, plundering and killing in which many Roman Catholic chapels and houses were destroyed. There is a legend that the high altar of the cathedral stands on the spot where the march began.

In 1786 there was only one Roman Catholic chapel in the whole of south London, located at Bermondsey. It was then that Fr Thomas Walsh, a Douai priest, for £20 a year hired a room in Bandyleg Walk (near where the Southwark fire station now stands). Within two years, the numbers attending the little chapel had increased so rapidly that a new building became essential. In 1793 a large chapel dedicated to St George was opened in the London Road at a cost of £2,000. It was designed by James Taylor of Weybridge, Surrey. According to tradition it was here that the first High Mass was celebrated in London, outside the chapels of ambassadors, since the time of King James II of England. The occasion was the Solemn Requiem sung for the repose of the soul of Louis XVI of France, who was executed on 21 January 1793.

It was to St George's that Fr Thomas Doyle came in 1820, when the congregation stood at around 7,000. He became the first chaplain in 1829. In the same year, the Catholic Emancipation Act removed nearly all the legal disabilities which Catholics had suffered for 250 years. As Fr Doyle's congregation increased to 15,000 by 1829, the idea grew in his mind of a great church with the dimensions of a long and lofty cathedral. By 1839 enough money had been collected to make a start and the present site in St George's Fields (then an open space) was purchased for £3,200.

Augustus Pugin, the noted architect of the Gothic Revival, was commissioned to design the church. Lack of funds, however, prevented the committee from accepting his first design of a cruciform cathedral on a grand scale and less ambitious plans had to be prepared. Work began on the old cathedral in 1840, the foundation stone being laid on 8 September. The church was solemnly opened by Bishop Nicholas Wiseman (later Cardinal Wiseman) on 4 July 1848. To mark the occasion Pope Pius IX sent a golden chalice and paten as a gift.

Two years later Pope Pius restored the English Roman Catholic hierarchy and St George's was chosen as the cathedral church of the new Roman Catholic Diocese of Southwark, which was to cover the whole of southern England. For the next half-century, until the opening of Westminster Cathedral, St George's was the centre of Roman Catholic life in London. Thomas Grant was made the first Roman Catholic Bishop of Southwark; Fr Doyle became the provost and administrator and remained so until his death on 6 June 1879. He is buried in the crypt. The new cathedral was consecrated by Bishop Butt on 7 November 1894 and on that day every year the feast of the dedication of the cathedral is celebrated throughout the diocese.


As of 10 June 2010, the current archbishop is Peter Smith. His predecessor, Kevin McDonald, led the archdiocese until 4 December 2009, when he submitted his resignation in keeping with canon law which provides for the retirement of a diocesan bishop on grounds of ill health or for other grave reasons. There are three auxiliary bishops: John Hine, titular Bishop of Beverley, Patrick Lynch SS.CC., titular bishop of Castrum and Paul Hendricks, titular Bishop of Ross and Cromarty. These bishops have particular pastoral responsibility in Kent, South East London and South West London respectively.[citation needed]


The Southwark archdiocese makes up part of the Catholic Association Pilgrimage.


The archdiocese is the foundation responsible for over 170 Voluntary Aided and Voluntary Controlled schools in the diocese and is the sponsor of two schools under the English academy programme.

St Joseph's Convent (primary school, Sidcup)[edit]

This subsection covers the defunct nunnery and school of the St Joseph's Convent RC Primary School,[2][3][4][5][6][7] it's relationship with the defunct secondary school of St Mary's, it's fraternal relationship with St. Peter Chanel & the Convent's relationship with the church of St Lawrence[8] & the monastic orders which managed that church and worked at the aforementioned schools'

St Joseph's Convent, Sidcup was a mixed infant and junior school from 1901 to 1989. For a few decades it also taught girls in secondary education. The school was located on Hatherley Road, Sidcup, Kent in the London Borough of Bexley, England.

The school underwent a number of name changes since it's inception. Officially called St Joseph's, the plaque on the convent building was originally "English and French School" . The diversification into two schools introduced a second school name. For the final 40 years of the school's existence the name plaque at the apex read "St. Joseph's Convent and School."

Early Years - The school was founded by three French nuns who were members of an order in Normandy France, the Soeurs-De-L-Education-Chretienne[9] in English known as Religious of Christian Education . They arrived in 1901 during a period of anti-clerical legislation in France. The Order itself had been opening overseas convents since the 1880's in response to the Third Republic's anti-clerical legislation. Sister Marie-Claire was aged 17 when she arrived in Sidcup would later become the sister superior of the convent.

Social changes result in name changes - When St. Joseph's began admitting boys in 1902, in it's first year it had been exclusively girls, the school was divided into "St. Gertrude's" , for the girl pupils and "St. Joseph's" for the boys.

Later St Gertrude's became "St. Gertrude's High School" when the schools were reorganised into St Joseph's for primary education and St Gertrude's for girls' secondary education. Around 1965 the two schools were amalgamated under the name of St Joseph's as a mixed primary school.

St Josephs class with a male teacher

St Gertrude's added St Gertrude's High School for Girls due to a rising demand of for school places as a consequence of the increase in size of population of Sidcup. Sidcup was rural town, but this began to change following the opening of the Sidcup railway station as part of the Dartford Loop Line. The first major influx was from the slum areas of New Cross, this included an increase in Roman Catholic people which encouraged the building of St Lawrence's Church to meet the growing population spiritual needs. This led to a surge in pupils at St. Joseph's.

The senior girls block at the period when St Josephs was called St Gertrudes
Classroom at St Jospehs

Following the electrification of the rail line between London Bridge Railway Station and Dartford, property speculators purchased farmland in Sidcup and built more expensive properties attracting middle class residents. The new populace having more disposable income were able to enroll their children in fee paying schools. To meet this demand, the nuns opened a fee paying secondary school, St Gertrude's High School for Girls for this demand.

Connection with St. Lawrence's Church[10][11]-

The nuns and the pupils used the local Roman Catholic church of St.Lawrence named in remembereance of Lawrence of Rome for Masses and religious observations. From 1901-1911 this church was under the auspices of the Verona Fathers . Due to an ambitious building scheme, they were forced to relinquish the church due to debts. The church then passed to the Marist Fathers who continued the fraternal link with the Convent and installed a relic of their patron St.Peter Chanel. The relic kept in a small display box near the altar was given to the Marist Fathers as part of the Marist collection that was brought first to France following missionary reassignment. The relic contained a pressed red flower from the South Sea Islands, red representing martyrdom in Catholicism. The accompanying inscription stated that Chanel had been killed by a Musumusu a warrior who had been injured trying to stop King Niuliki son Meitala from being baptised who had incited his murder. King Niuliki was jealous of Christianity.

Tuesday mornings was the regular day for pupils to attend Mass at St Lawrence's. This would consist of the entire school, with the exception of the kindergarten, walking through Sidcup High Street to reach the church.

The End of the Convent - Sister Marie-Claire who was one of the founding nuns became the mother superior. Eventually she died in her sleep on her 95th birthday on Wednesday 17 October 1979. She was succeeded by one of the cooks.

The school closed in July 1989. The local newspaper, The News shopper, ran an article in March 1989 detailing a public meeting where it was announced the school would be closed due to the bishop in France being unable to provide a sufficient number of nuns to replace the aging nuns at the Convent.

Following the demolishing of numbers 2 to 8 of Hatherley Road a new building was constructed. The Sidcup Nursing & Residential Centre. The Centre has been a place of contreversy following the discovery of a dead resident with a pillow over her face in 2012.[12]

Nuns at the Convent since 1970 -

All the teachers who had taken religious vows were members of the Soeurs-De-L-Education-Chretienne.

Sister Antionette - returned to France when the Convent closed at the age of 93. She taught the kindergarten,maths and needlework Sister Blanche - retired to France in 1974 Sister Denise - returned to France when the Convent closed. Taught French, Spanish and science

Sister Emmanuel - former headmistress. She taught the kindergarten until 1977. She retired to France as a result of arthritis.

Sister Marie-Claire - one of the founders. She taught different subjects including typing at the girls' secondary school of St. Gertrude's. Her administrative duties were reduced when she was 90 and in declining health by which time she required two walking sticks. Died 1979 aged 95.

Sister Renee - one of the founders. She retired to France in 1973. Sister Theresa - unlike the other nuns she was English. She became headmistress after Sister Emanuel. She taught the final year boys. Her specialisation was mathematics. She managed the school trips. She died in September 1980.[15]

There were two nuns who were cooks for the school. They did not teach due to their strong French accents. One of them became sister superior on the death of Marie-Claire. Sister Eileen and Sister Moiren were teaching in the 1940s-1950s

Soeurs-De-L-Education-Chretienne -

Sister Marie-Claire, Renni and a third nun aged 16 were the first to arrive in Sidcup from the headquarters of the fr: Sœurs de l'Éducation Chrétienne in fr: Normandie and found the Convent in response to the rise of Catholic residents who had relocated from the poorer parishes of New Cross and Camberwell. They provided free education to the children of these low income families.

The dedication to educating the poor is the founding ethos of the fr: Soeurs-De-L-Education-Chretienne. The first 4 nuns who founded the Order as an educational denomination was in response to, Father Louis Lafosse, pastor of Echauffour. The 4 dedicated themselves on 21 November 1817. Lafosse trained them to give "little girls a solid human and Christian formation guarantee of future outbreaks." His decision was the result of his horror caused by the French Revolution. [18] The nuns taught in the parish of Church of St. Andrew Echauffour. The new congregation was approved by Bishop Saussol Alexis, the Bishop of Sees Diocèse_de_Séez [19] from 1817 to 1836 under the ascent of Archbishop fr: François de Pierre de Bernis in 1821. He was the Archbishop for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Rouen . [20] [21] In the twentieth century they expanded their schools across the world and installed an international community in Peru in response to the country's then human rights conditions.

The sisters' made a statement in 2011 attesting to their ethics: " "We are working with other people to growth and the creation of communities able to create and evolve structures . society in the interests of justice and truth always attentive to the poor, we participate in the mission of the Church in Education various sectors: pastoral, teaching, catechesis, chaplaincy, youth movements, women's promotion in third and Fourth World ... "

"Following Christ, we live in community. Nourished by the Gospel and the Eucharist, we seek God in life, prayer and personal and community reflection." Lay Teachers

Many laity teachers who had not taken Holy Orders taught at the school. A photograph from 1917 shows a male teacher.[4] For the final 30 years of the school, all teachers were women.

Some of the teachers were: Mrs Cullen, Mrs Taylor, Mrs Gomez, Mrs Naylor, Mrs Greatrex, Mrs Diamond, Mrs Cohrino, Miss Lenahan, Mrs O'Hanlan, Mrs Newman, Mrs Wren. The latter two were headmistresses following the death of Sister Theresa.

Alumni[13][14] The writer and poet Fleur Adcock was a pupil at the Convent and attended it during the existence of St. Gertrude's. She refers to the school in her collection of poems The Incident Book (1986) A short excerpt from her poem about the school is here [25] Two her poems describe the school: St Gertrude's Sidcup and Halfway Street Sidcup

The poem St. Gertrude's Sidcup is amoungst Adcock's most famous work due to the memorable first and last lines

Nuns, now: ladies in black hoods; ..... and my knickers fell down in the snow.

Uniform -

The nuns of the Order have always worn blue as part of their Religious habit. This caused the formal nick name Le souers de la Coeur bleu . Consequently the school colours for the unforms at St. Joseph's were predominantly blue. According to early photographs the first girls' uniforms were light blue smock with a broad rimmed hat. From the 1950's onwards the school uniform colours were blue and yellow. School blazers for boys were navy blue with the initials S and J overlapping on a badge background. This design was repeated on the school caps and ties. A light grey shirt and darker grey shorts.

School cap

Girls had a darker blue blazer. Their hats were modeled on a combination of a Renaissance beret and a military cap. On the front it bore an enamel badge stylised in a coat of arms quadrant. In the summer term girls were allowed to wear a straw hat styled similar to a bowler hat with an enamel badge with the S.J. overlapping letters in yellow on a navy blue background.

The religious habit of the nuns varied according to whether they had taken their final vows. Nuns who were teachers but still novices wore a white cornette style headdress with a holy habit also called a tunic. This is seen in a couple of photos circa 1910 of teaching nuns. They all wore a silver cross topped with a heart of blue cloth under their tunic hence the nickname 'sisters of the blue heart.'

On becoming a bride of Christ the headdress would be changed to a white coif with a black veil and a guimpe.

School Anthem - The school anthem was We Are the Pupils of St. Joseph's School . A mid-fast tempo song of 150 beats per minute in G major with an ascending musical phrase at the end of each vocal line. It features a middle 8 with a tricky double triplet descending across the scale repeated 6 times which would cause mistakes in singing without sufficient practice due to the song's fast tempo.

Music was an important part of the school since being a religious establishment, hymns were sung at all assemblies. As part of the singing training the pupils held a successful carol concert at St Lawrence's in December 1980.

Discipline - The school retained corporal punishment by caning until Mrs. Wren became headmistress in 1982. Sister Theresa who was headmistress from 1968-1980 would cane pupils irregularly but she did cane two boys aged 6.

An eccentric punishment was to order pupils to pray before a large statue of Jesus that was situated on a mound in the playground. If this position was already occupied the disobedient child had to pray before a statue of the Virgin Mary situated 15 yards away. This punishment was not monitored which enabled the pupil to say anything they chose rather than recite a prayer. This 'punishment' was only applicable to boys as the statues were located in the boys' playground.

Another punishment, for boys aged 8 to 10, which was actually a source of enjoyment was to polish part of the ground floor area using dusters tied to the feet. This is a practice that occurs in some Catholic Orders, The Doctor Who actor Tom Baker recalls the same practice during his time at a monastery in his autobiography Who On Earth Is Tom Baker [[{ISBN 0-00-638854-X}]].

The result of using dusters covered in floor polish on a smooth floor was that friction would be so low as to result in high and often uncontrolled speeds when polishing the floor with the feet. Pupils would often career into furniture resulting in bruising.

St Lawrences -

St Lawrences where St Josephs worshiped 1901-1989 & founder of St Marys Grammar & St peter Chanel School

This church administers to the pastoral religious requirements of the schools in it's parish: St Joseph's Convent, St Mary's Grammar, and St. Peter Chanel School. The latter two were founded by and had teachers from St. Lawrences.

St Lawrences and the college

The church was built by the Dioceses of Southwark to meet the religious worship of the growing Catholic population. The church was place under the care of the Verona Fathers . Building commenced in 1900. As was common in the Late Victorian era the Gothic Revival architecture had fallen out of fashion due to it's ubiquity and ornateness. Instead brick buildings had become popular due to their ease of construction and uncluttered design. The arched central ceiling of the church was a sky blue colour in accordance to the Catholic theological practice of representing Heaven

St. Lawrence's is in the style of neo Romanesque or Romanesque Revival architecture. Constructed of brick it feature the arches typical of Romanesque architecture on a smaller scale. A mosaic design for the name is above the entrance. In the courtyard is a full size metal statue of Christ in a blessing pose standing upon a plinth.

The ambitious scale of the construction resulted in the Verona Fathers being unable to fund the projects. They were forced to relinquish the church in 1911 with debts of £6000. The equivalent of over £483,000 in 2015

The parochial house became St Ethelberts Marist College under Father Dr. John Mulkern was the first rector or parish priest to take over from the Verona Fathers, it was opened in 1911.

In the 1990s a priest who had lived at St Ethelbert's returned as parish priest. Father Robin Duckworth was assistant professor of Biblical Languages at Heythrop College in the 1960s. His successor died in 2012. It was decided that the Marists would relinquish the parish. The current priest is Father John Diver.

St Peter Chanel[15][16] - This school is connected with St Joseph's Convent as a consequence of being part of the same Catholic parish and under the auspices of the Marist Fathers and their theological house throughout the whole period they provided parochial care to St. Joseph's. Consequently the two schools had a fraternal relationship. The Marist Fathers founded St Peter Chanel school and named it after their martyr and saint. A couple of the priests served as headmasters of the school.

The uniform is distinctive from their St. Joseph neighbours. Dark brown blazer, with an unusual bright yellow shirt. The school emblem is a cross against a background of palm fronds.

At the turn of the century the population of Sidcup was mostly Anglican and Non-Conformist. By 1950 the number of Catholic residents had increased to a number to require the building of a second Roman Catholic primary school, St Peter Chanel, and a grammar school St Mary’s Roman Catholic Grammar School for Boys.

St Mary’s Roman Catholic Grammar School for Boys[17][18][19][20] -

This is a now defunct secondary school in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Southwark. The school was opened as a result of its close educational and geographical connection to the primary school of St Joseph's Convent, the majority of boys on graduating from St Joseph's at the age of 10 or 11 attended this school, located half a mile from St Joseph's.

Built in the 1950's by the Marist Fathers as a grammar school it had an excellent academic record. The school emblem was a bee which signified industriousness. In 1982 under changing circumstances the school became co-educational changing its name to St Mary’s and St Joseph's Roman Catholic School . Academic results started falling dramatically from 1988.

The condition was so severe that by 2001 it was decided to abolish secondary education and concentrate resources as a sixth form only college, renamed St Luke's Catholic Sixth Form. [32] In 2008 the college came under the auspices of the Christ the King Sixth Form College in Lewisham. This was followed by a name change Christ the King: St Mary's.

Verona Fathers (Comboni Missionaries)[21][22] -

The Verona Fathers are an educational order with a strong presence in Central America, Africa and particularly Kenya. [35] They place an emphasis on teaching science.

The Order were commissioned with the parish and the church under the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Southwark in Sidcup in 1900. They were the first to provide pastoral care and religious worship to the nuns and pupils of St Joseph's.

In recent years the Verona Fathers have been central to a series of sexual abuse allegations inflicted on former pupils at other schools including Mirfield Junior Seminary which resulted in an out of court settlement. The accusations and court cases are part of the wider Catholic Church sexual abuse cases . Victims at Mirfield were as young as 11.[23][24][25]

By contrast, another member of the Verona Fathers Bishop Óscar Romero[26] was martyred as a result of his outspoken opposition to the atrocities committed by the El Salvador government. During Mass, on completing his sermon he proceeded to the centre of the altar where he was suddenly shot dead by government operatives on 24 March 1980.

Recent Years[27][28][29] -

There has been a growing interest seen on the Friends Reunited page for the Convent amoung former pupils in collating details about the Convent. The rather unusual circumstances of being taught by French nuns in a convent with weekly Masses has encouraged this.

Correspondence with the Roman Catholic Sees in Rome and Normandy confirmed that the Marist Fathers had vacated St Lawrence's in 2012 and a recent new Regional Superior appointed.[42] The surviving nuns from St Joseph's Convent resided at the congregation in Échauffour which closed in June 2011. The nuns were relocated to the Congregation of the Sisters of Misericorde in the Orne department of Normandy, France.

The decision to vacate the nunnery they have occupied since 1817 was taken by Sister Cara Nagle, Superior General of the Sisters of Christian Education due to the small number and age of the remaining nuns and the financial demands of maintaining a large estate.

Overseas missions continue to thrive. The surviving nuns of the Order have an average age of 89 as of 2015. They moved to the Misericords convent where they joined other nuns who had moved there for clinical care.

Sister Odette said of the relocation, ""Of course, people are sad to see us leave, but they understand what happens to us. We are not all that different from other families, increasingly face the phenomenon of old age and must adapt.

Another sister said, "Christian Education, [the Order] even at the time of its international influence, remained a small congregation, we were always told that these apostolates of modest size, the average life expectancy was usually 150 to 200 years."

Sister Marie-Thérèse one of the surviving seven nuns, said, "The community life is essential for us, it is part of our being, usque ad mortem!" ""We will strive to establish contacts with people who have changed little. This is our charisma, "live with" dear to our founder Fr. Lafosse."

Christian Delahaye, for the Church in the Orne, said, "In this period of change experienced by the Church in general and in particular congregation, the community is more attached than ever."

The actor-director Stephen Armourae who was a pupil from 1975-1981 is attempting to make a documentary according to the Friends Reunited page for the school.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Southwark", in The Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer of the World (1952), New York: Columbia University Press.
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  26. ^ Óscar Romero
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External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′52″N 0°06′29″W / 51.4979°N 0.1080°W / 51.4979; -0.1080