Thursday, 28 April 2011

Of sisters, monks and parishioners

Just spent a lovely day in London. Fifteen of us from our 3 Churches went up to St Dunstan's Church in Gunnersbury, just off the Chiswick Flyover, for a Mass celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Sister Margaret Watson's profession as a sister in the Little Company of Mary. These are the sisters who had a convent in the St Paul's part of our parishes, from where they started what is now the George Thomnas Hospice Care, which does such splendid work in the city. Sr Margaret served here for twenty years, until the convent shut about five years ago, and she became Provincial, based in Gunnersbury. Now she is just finishing her term of office, but there will be no time to rest as she has been named to the Council of the Congregation, ie she will be an adviser to the boss of the whole order. 
Sister was very popular here in Cardiff, so it was great to be able to help her celebrate fifty wonderful years. Concelebrated Mass was followed by a buffet lunch at a local cricket club, and a great time was had by all. Then we had a surprise - one of the sisters who had also worked in Cardiff, Sr Mary, suggested we call in to Ealing Abbey on our way out of London.
Well, what a surprise! Hidden away in this West London suburb is a huge and beautiful church, dedicated to St Benedict. Badly damaged in the war, it has been reconstructed and is one of the most tasteful Catholic churches I have seen in Britain. It is home not only to the monks, but also to one of the most populous parishes in Britain. We all thought it was magnificent, and were glad Sr Mary had encouraged us to visit. Fr M approves - defo!
Pictures show the view towards the altar and towards the entrance

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