Fifty guests gathered recently for the opening and blessing of the first phase of the current building work at St Mary’s Convent, Wantage. This includes a brand-new entrance and reception area offering a warm welcome to visitors to the Convent, as well as the refurbishment of the Convent’s North Wing.
The new reception area, together with a new office for CSMV’s bursary staff, office space for the Oxford Diocesan Schools Trust (ODST) and six new cells (bedrooms) for visiting friends of the Sisters, were blessed during an informal and happy event.
Welcoming her guests, Sister Stella, Sister in Charge of CSMV said that she hoped the new building “may be a blessing for ODST and their working life here and for our community of Sisters and all our staff.”
The Revd Toby Wright, one of CSMV’s Trustees and Area Dean of Witney, led a series of blessings around the new and refurbished buildings, accompanied by the Revd Canon Brendan Clover, a Trustee of ODST. Holy Water was sprinkled to bless each area and afterwards the Sisters and guests gathered in St Mary’s Chapel to celebrate the Eucharist.
Work has now started on the second phase of the building project. This includes the refurbishment of the existing guest accommodation at the Convent (including the construction of a new stairwell and lift tower) and creation of a new conference and meeting area.