The Church of England’s third most senior Bishop visited Wantage this weekend (15 & 16th June), to be blessed as Bishop Visitor by a community of nuns. The Rt Revd Dame Sarah Mullally, who was installed as the Bishop of London in May, visited the Community of St Mary the Virgin (CSMV), Wantage to take up a new role with the Sisters.
Bishop Sarah spent two days at St Mary’s Convent meeting the Sisters and staff of the Community.
“The role of Bishop Visitor is to provide wisdom and inspiration,” says Sister Stella, Sister in Charge of CSMV. “Bishop Sarah offers us an oversight of Church life, while enabling and encouraging us to continue and grow as a religious community. We were delighted when Bishop Sarah agreed to join us in this very important role.”
Bishop Sarah joined the Sisters of the Community at a Blessing Eucharist on Saturday morning in the Chapel of St Mary Magdalene, when she formally took up her new position. The Community’s Warden, the Venerable Caroline Baston, Archdeacon Emeritus of the Isle of Wight, conducted the service.
“It is great privilege and a joy to be invited to take up the role of Bishop Visitor at one of the Church of England’s religious houses,” says Bishop Sarah. “The task is to make sure everything is in place for the Community to flourish, to be the best that it can. I’m a friend with whom the Sisters can reflect on where they are as a Community and on what God is calling on them to do.”
Former chief nursing officer, Bishop Sarah was installed as first female Bishop of London at a service held at St Paul’s Cathedral, London on May 12. Subsequently she has taken her seat in the House of Lords. Previously she was the Bishop of Crediton in Exeter diocese and Canon Treasurer at Salisbury Cathedral. Bishop Sarah was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2005 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to nursing and midwifery.
More information about the Community of St Mary the Virgin (CSMV), Wantage, their ministry and their history as one of the earliest religious communities in the Anglican Church can be found online via their website.
All photos are credited to Nick Clarke Media.