An article in today's FT suggests that the time might be nigh for
the remaining religious communities in the UK.
Shortly after starting this blog about a year ago I attended the annual general
meeting of the Conference of Religious of England and Wales where Father
Christopher, abbott of Worth Abbey and who has featured on TV programmes
about monastic life, gave the keynote speech. My blog post last year
gives more details but the consensus then was that of some pessimsism
but lots of hope. The CoR AGM this year which I attended on the 13th September
was packed to the gunnels. The previous custom of allowing people to buy tickets
on the day had to be abandoned though sheer weight of numbers. The keynote
speaker Sister Camilla from USA spoke of science, mysticism and the big bang.
The conversations started last year were continued and the outlook was
Yet upon speaking with Nigerian religious superior, Sister Bernadette,
this morning, she mentioned that Wimbledon's Marie Reparatrice convent
is at risk of closing through lack of numbers. Sister Bernadette
(who is not a sister from that Order) sees no reason why the many
sisters and religious in India, Nigeria and elsewhere, who live
under the same constitutions as those in the UK, should not be called
upon to fill the gaps.
Essentially the West sent forth missionaries to Africa and India
and Sister Bernadette's straightforward answer to the problem highlighted
in today's FT mag, is for India and Africa now to reciprocate
by sending forth missioniaries to these lands - I agree.