Permanent home found for Sisters who left Anglican community

Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The new religious community of the Personal Ordinariate, the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary, has moved into a permanent home for the first time since being received into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

The community includes 11 sisters who had been part of the Anglican Community of St Mary the Virgin in Wantage, Oxfordshire, and one sister who belonged to an Anglican community in Walsingham.

They are now part of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham adopting the Benedictine rule, and officially became part of the Catholic fold on New Year's Day.

They had no endowments to sustain them financially and have spent the last eight months as guests at an enclosed Benedictine abbey on the Isle of Wight.

On Tuesday, they will move into their new permanent home, a convent in Birmingham, which is the former home of the Little Sisters of the Assumption.

Mother Winsome, the Superior of the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary, said: "We are absolutely overjoyed to have been given the opportunity to live in this convent. We have prayed long and hard and the Lord has opened up this way for us. It is a gift from God."

Their intention is to earn a living at their new home by offering retreats and the ministry of spiritual direction.

Mother Winsome continued: "The abbess and the community there shared their Benedictine life with us and welcomed us into their hearts in the most wonderfully generous way. It has been a life of complete harmony and joy and it will be a wrench to leave. But we are pleased beyond measure that our journey of faith has taken this new direction."