The Conversion of St Augustine, Carlisle Cathedral, c. 1490

I call upon you God, my mercy. You made me, and when I forgot you, you did not forget me. from The Confessions, 13.1.1, tr. Henry Chadwick

STOP PRESS: Nursing Home now has Cardiac Smart Award

CLICK HERE for more details


Sr Marie Claude, the Mother General, and her Assistant, Sr Marie Benoît, came on Visitation in the first half of October. We were very pleased to welcome them both to Boarbank and to Ince Blundell, where the whole Community came together for a final meeting. The Boarbank Sisters also joined the Sisters at Ince for an afternoon at the end of October.

Sr Florence has been staying in Malestroit to experience something of the life of the French Sisters. She has been learning a bit of French, involving herself in various Community activities and celebrations, and making regular visits to patients in their clinic. She has also had the chance to visit some of the other French communities.

Sr Florence at Malestroit
Sr Florence at Malestroit
 Celebrating Jubilees at Malestroit Celebrating Jubilees at Malestroit

Sr Eileen has been to meetings of the General Council and Prioresses’ Assembly in Thibermont and of the General Council in Morlaix.

For the annual Day for Religious in October we welcomed Sisters from several different communities in the north of the Diocese. The input from Fr David Elder was much appreciated.

Recent News

Various Sisters have enjoyed attending the Gala Concert of the Concert Club, with the Zelkova Quartet; the Parish barbecue, starring Fr Kevan Dorgan; and an evening on Christian Meditation with Fr Laurence Freeman in Cartmel Priory on Friday 30th

It was a particular pleasure for us to be able to join in two celebrations with the Bernardine Cistercian Sisters at Hyning Hall. Sr Margaret A. and Sr Michael attended Sr Mary Stella’s Golden Jubilee, while Sr Eileen, Sr Silvana and Sr Florence were present at Sr Reina’s profession in Hyning. We offer warm congratulations to both Sisters.

On 22nd October we shared the celebration of 125 years of Augustinians in KwaZulu Natal by having a Mass of Thanksgiving offered for the Community past, present and future and a very colourful Lunch reminding us of South Africa .

The Macmillan Coffee Morning at the end of September was a success, raising £130 for the charity.

The annual Churches Together in Grange-over-Sands Advent Carol Service took place on the First Sunday of Advent in the afternoon. Adrian Self and the Cartmel Priory Choir, as always, made this a memorable and beautiful event.

Sr Margaret A. has given some talks away from Boarbank: to the ecumenical group The Filling Station in Windermere on Augustine’s ideas of unity and welcome, to Austin Forum in Hammersmith on Laudato Si’, and to the Newman House student chaplaincy in London on ‘Rethinking the Meaning of Money’.

Some of Sr Margaret’s talks can be found on YouTube at:

Margaret Atkins OSA - Hope & Money: The Undergrowth Movement  and

Fr Dixie has given talks on the theme of Mercy in Durham and Chesterfield. CLICK HERE to download his talk

Our chaplain, Fr John, unfortunately had to make an emergency visit to hospital, and we are delighted now to have him back with us. He has been supported by prayers and visits from his great number of friends.

The Year of Mercy ended on the Feast of Christ the King, yet the need for it never ends. We hope that this special year has made us all more aware of our need to receive and give mercy all day, every day.

Bishop Michael joined us for the Second Sunday of Advent and presided at the Sunday Mass, preaching on the themes of patience, hope and consolation.

Bishop Michael at Boarbank in Advent
Bishop Michael at Boarbank in Advent
Bishop Michael at Boarbank in Advent Bishop Michael at Boarbank in Advent


We have been blessed with a very strong group of resident helpers this year. We sadly said goodbye to Helen, who made an enormous contribution in her time with us, and continues to maintain our Facebook page. ( CLICK HERE to see it, as well as on our own front page)

Natasha was with us briefly, as was Lucy, on a return visit, during which she treated us to a concert on the organ. Andrea, Stephen, Heather and James are still with us, and Mathilde will return (after 6 years) for a month in December. We are very grateful for their presence with us, and their contribution to our life of prayer, and of course for the varied work they do in different parts of Boarbank.

The staff organised a very enjoyable barbecue in the Guest House on 28th September to which the Sisters were also invited. Many thanks to the kitchen for providing the food, and to everyone involved in the organisation.

Mrs Sally Fisher, the Matron, is making a name for herself with a regular slot in 'Grange Now'.

This is her message for December:

"So my friends, we look forward to the festive period. Some of us have heavy hearts as we approach the festivities, sad events throughout the year can make this time difficult to bear. We at Boarbank, are only too familiar with the feelings of loss and abandonment that people can feel after losing a loved one, and we embrace these friends with warm hearts, a cheery smile, a ready ear and of course a cup of tea.

The Christmas entertainment and activity list for the Nursing Home is taking shape and we are looking forward to welcoming children from local schools to sing to us, bringing so much joy to the residents, staff and visitors. Thomas the Tank Engine will be making his usual visit to us and I personally, am looking forward to my first Christmas at Boarbank."

CLICK HERE for last month’s magazine.

We are showing this photo of Sally with her permission, and is from when she was playing the part of the fairy in the Pantomime 'Jack and the Beanstalk' in Lancaster.

Our very own celebrity. Thanks Sally!

Sally Fisher - our Matron

On the First Sunday of Advent, it was a great joy to welcome Fr Andrew Dawson to celebrate the baptism of Maria Liljiana Malec in our chapel. Many congratulations to Liljiana and Przemek, their families and the godparents.

Guest House and Courses

The Second Hand Book Sale during September raised over £100.

A very big thank you to Sandra for her help with this. We still have some second-hand theology books left if anyone can give them a good home.

The Co-Workers of Mother Teresa visited for a Day of Recollection, just before the Beatification of St Teresa of Calcutta. Congratulations to them on this joyful event.

Our Thinking Scripture week on the Gospel of John was led as usual by Dr Geoffrey Turner, Fr Dixie and Sr Margaret A.

Thinking Scripture group Discussions

Highlights included a film about the life of Luther, starring Joseph Fiennes, and a walk in Little Langdale. For a full report CLICK HERE.

Thinking Scripture group Thinking Scripture group

Next year the theme will be ‘God in the Bible’ and we will be running a long weekend in July and only one full week, in October.

Book early to avoid disappointment!

Autumn Break had as its theme once again Faith and the Arts, this time concentrating on the 18th Century. It was a very rich programme, including Haydn Lee’s musical presentations, Joyce Simpson on John Newton, author of ‘Amazing Grace’, Rosemary Mitchell on art, Fr Dixie on the French Revolution and Eleanor Petch on Jane Austen.

For a full report CLICK HERE.

Lingards Apple Tree Haydn Lee at the piano

We plan to continue the theme next year, focusing on the Reformation and Counter-Reformation.

We were very pleased to welcome the students from the Durham chaplaincy again, with their new chaplain, Fr Andrew Downie, an old friend of Sr Eileen and of Fr Dixie.

Durham group Durham group


Sr Margaret spoke to them about Laudato Si’ and money, and they much enjoyed their programme of prayer and social activities.

On the first weekend in December we ran our second pre-Christmas Healthcare Retreat, open to anyone interested in healthcare, health and sickness from a perspective of faith.

The theme was ‘Health, Wisdom and Tradition.’ Fr Dixie spoke on ‘Wisdom and Tradition in the OT’, Dr John McKay on ‘Wisdom for the Next Generation’ and Sr Margaret A. on ‘Passing on the Principles: The Hippocratic Oath.’ For a full report CLICK HERE 

Hope in Health Hope in Health
Hope in Health Hope in Health

Nursing Home

The lively programme of activities has included flower-ranging, a comedy musical, a pre-Christmas trip out, a Taizé choir and a second instalment of Fr Dixie’s autobiographical talk, ‘The Journey Continues’. You can READ HERE the short story by Fr Dixie, which he used during his talk.

Flower arranging Flower arranging
Nursing home


We have lost several residents and other friends of the Community in recent weeks, including
Jean Norman, Paul Lowndes, Eileen McLoughlin, Elsie Pine, Lyn Bizzotto, Flo Winton and May Wilkinson.

We offer our deep sympathy to all their friends and families.

The first week in November is a week for remembering our dead. After celebrating All Saints and All Souls, we had a day of prayer for deceased Sisters.

We ended the week with a Memorial Service for patients, relations and friends who had died especially in the past year. A candle was lit for each of the people on the list, and relatives brought their candles up to the altar.

We also marked Remembrance Day at the Sunday Mass with a small display and the Last Post.

CLICK HERE for Fr Dixie’s sermon.

Remembrance Sunday Remembrance Sunday
Remembrance Sunday Remembrance Sunday