Reverend Mother Mary Luke preached the homily at the Church of Christ the King in Gordon Square London on 28th February 2013. The occasion was the Installation of Fr Kit Dunkley as Master General and Fr Nicholas Spicer as Master Provincial of the Society of the Holy Cross. Around 600 SSC priests were present and some of the CHC sisters and several other Religious were also able to share in what was an impressive and uplifting occasion.
The high point of the year was undoubtedly the 14th July when our visitor, the Rt Rev’d Dr David Hope, dedicated our conventual church and blessed the convent and other buildings. The 14th July has traditionally always been the date of our Dedication, being our foundress, Mother Elizabeth Neale’s birthday. Last year we were still in the throes of unpacking, the guest house wasn’t ready and as we still wished to keep the festival on the 14th July we had to wait for another year. It was a hard job deciding whom to invite as the church is not quite the same size as Southwell Minster! In the end we managed to squeeze 93 guests in, though a few had to sit outside the west door. Sr Mary Cuthbert came down from Yorkshire and Sr Mary Hannah came back from Korea for a month for the ceremony so we were all here for the first time since a year ago last May. Religious from a number of Anglican Communities came and also some Roman Catholic friends and neighbours from Mount St Bernard Abbey and the Franciscan Sisters from Melton.
Bishop David was assisted by our Warden, Canon Gavin Kirk, and Honorary Chaplain, Canon Kenneth Court. Thanks to a suggestion from the Dean of Southwell Minster, the Ven John Guille, our singing was augmented by four members of the Minster Chorale: Margaret Gale, Angela Ashwin, Helen Mather and Susan Dawson, who had to learn some Latin plainsong having never sung it before. Accompaniment was provided by Aric Prentice, the director of music at Lincoln Minster. I think we can say the celebration was wonderful, made even better by, after weeks of rain, the sun coming out after Mass allowing us to eat lunch out in the garden.
16 Oblates gathered for the Oblates’ Day on 8th October, arriving for coffee at 10 am followed by a talk on Pilgrimage by Sister Mary Bernadette, (available here shortly). The Mass was at 12 noon and was followed by an excellent sit-down lunch with much talking and laughter. For most it was their first visit to Costock so after None there was a guided tour of the new Convent, everyone finishing up in St Benedict’s House for tea. This was served with a variety of cakes, buns and biscuits, home baked by Oblates and Sisters. All very delicious. Some people had to depart after tea but a goodly few stayed on for Vespers. Several Oblates from far afield stayed a couple of nights in St Benedict’s, some travelled just for the day from as far away as Scarborough and Wakefield. The day was enjoyed equally by Oblates and Sisters.