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North Thames Feature: Forest Gate

Forest GateThe Ursulines have long had a strong commitment to working in Forest Gate. At present there are 5 of us living at 38 Grosvenor Road in a new convent – now 20 years old but "new" to us- - the last one was built in 1876! The house is larger than our present needs but we try to make good use of it. We let a two bed roomed flat at affordable rates to key workers in Newham, usually newly recruited teachers. We also have a small conference room which we make available daily. It has proved very popular with Social Services, St Angela’s school also use it for some staff training and it acts as a focal point for province meetings.

Forest GateWe are now all “retired” though that is not a title that sits lightly on sisters ,so we continue to be active, maybe overactive, in the local community in the work of London Citizens, in Parish involvement, in working with other local sisters in the area, Just at present, in working to ensure an ethical Olympics.

Individual sisters have pioneered several new activities. We now have a Service Project for Senior students in Ursuline Schools in England, a Foot clinic, a spiritual accompaniment service, as well as international Ursuline language schools and the management of a local finance project. Forest GateWe try to keep each other abreast of our enterprises and to take an interest and share in each other’s daily occupation.

All of us living here are retired teachers –four of us former Head Teachers, this can make for some lively discussions and strongly held opinions, but our life in community together is very important to us and we try to ensure that the bonds of companionship, of praying together, of affection and sharing in sorrows, successes and joys are deep within us.