St Augustine

'Is it not clear that what the Holy Spirit does in human beings is allow them to have love and affection in them?'
(St Augustine, On the First Epistle of St John, 6.9)


Apologies to our regulars for the long gap since the last news.

Things have been happening too fast to have time to record them! But we hope you enjoy catching up with a few highlights.


Retreat with Fr Pat Gayer OSA

The Lenten retreat was led by Fr Pat Gayer OSA, who gave us renewed inspiration with his warm and profound reflections on our Constitutions. A very big thank you to him from us all.

It has been a real pleasure for us to enjoy visits from Sr Christiana, from Nigeria,

Visit of Sr Christiana OSA from Nigeria
and Sr Francis, having a month’s holiday from her responsibilities in South Africa.

Sr Eileen and Sr Margaret A. have both visited the communities of Gouarec and Pont L’Abbé for meetings, while Sr Margaret also visited Rome for study, and stayed at the English College.

The visit to Gouarec also enabled her to catch up with Sr Geneviève, providentially on her birthday, in Malestroit. She was delighted with all the news of Boarbank and sends lots of love. (She loves receiving letters, though cannot now reply to them. Her postal address can be found HERE )

Sr Lawrence celebrated the beginning of her next decade - many congratulations to her.

Bishop Libby Lane, who was visiting Grange for the Anglican Diocese’s Moving Mountains mission weekend, came for lunch before Easter.

Bishop Libby Lane's Visit
Three Sisters visited Eaglesfield Paddle Anglican Academy in Cockermouth for an open day and returned deeply impressed by the way in which the Christian ethos permeates the life of the school.

More recently an ecumenical group based at Cartmel Priory visited to find out more about Augustinian life, as part of an exploration of their own roots. We are deeply grateful for any opportunities to strengthen our friendship with other Christian groups.

Sisters have continued to enjoy visits to Grange Concert Club, thanks to kind benefactors. A particular delight was the recent visit of our friend the pianist Sam Haywood, whose Chopin-inspired recital included a lovely nocturne he had composed himself.

Sisters have also participated in various diocesan events: Rosary on the Coast, a Formators’ Meeting at Ladyewell, and the Parish lunch at a local hotel.

The major highlight, of course, was the installation of Bishop Paul Swarbrick in Lancaster Cathedral just after Easter.

Bishop Paul Swarbrick
Many congratulations to Bishop Paul: we keep him firmly in prayer.

A few days’ after Bishop Michael had returned to his Augustinian Community in Hammersmith, two of our Sisters went there for the ordinations of Fr Arthur and Fr Gladson. Many congratulations to both of them. We wish Bishop Michael continued blessings in his “retirement”.

We recently also had the pleasure of meeting staff of Austin Friars School, brought along for a weekend by Fr Ian Wilson OSA - the first of many such visits we hope.

Sr Elizabeth, Sr Eileen and Fr John had the great pleasure of joining family and friends in celebrating the Golden Jubilee of Fr David Elder in Morecambe - a truly joyous occasion which reflected Fr David’s years of loving and joyful priestly ministry in the Diocese. Ad Multos Annos!

Coffee Morning

The Coffee Morning was a great success once again, raising an impressive sum of over £6,400.

Many many thanks to all our hard-working volunteers, and to all the friends, staff and visitors who supported us in this.

Guest House

The Guest House was full as always for Easter and since then we have had several groups visiting as well as our usual holiday guests. Before Easter we welcomed Year 12 of Xaverian College in Manchester, who come for three days’ of intensive RE revision, including a session with St Augustine!

Easter at Boarbank  Easter at Boarbank 
 Easter at Boarbank Easter at Boarbank Guest House 

We have been very busy with courses, including some new ventures.

A weekend of Latin: the Basics proved great fun, with Sr Margaret’s old friend Alison Samuels coming up from Oxford to help her lead newcomers through Lingua Latina volume 1.

The Time to Reflect group for lecturers was inspired by Professor Karen Kilby of Durham University, who led two very thoughtful sessions relating to the theme of ‘Education and Compassion’.

Sr Margaret’s few days Introducing St Augustine focused on his life and key theological themes, and led to a request for a follow-up on his Confessions next year.

For Two Wings and Some Prayers, we welcomed Karim as our guide, along with Ellie and young Sabria (who is learning birdsong as she learns to speak!).

We were blessed with magnificent weather for our three trips out, to Leighton Moss, Hay Bridge and Foulney and Walney Islands. The total bird count was 100.

2 wings & Some Prayers 2018  2 wings & Some Prayers 2018  2 wings & Some Prayers 2018 
 2 wings & Some Prayers 2018 2 wings & Some Prayers 2018  

Karim again introduced the group to basic birdsong and also gave a fascinating talk on bird names, while our poet friend Samantha gave a moving reading of bird poetry, ending with a few of her own poems from her new book, Ling di Long, on the theme of walking ( Sr Margaret reflected on St Francis and Pope Francis to link the birdwatching with the prayer we shared through the week.

For our Thinking Scripture week this year we took the relatively unknown area of Wisdom Literature. Participants enjoyed exploring those parts of the Bible we tend to ignore, led by Dr Geoffrey Turner, focusing on Proverbs, Fr Dixie focusing on the book of Sirach, and Sr Margaret on the Wisdom of Solomon.

Thinking Scripture 2018  Thinking Scripture 2018 
 Thinking Scripture 2018 Thinking Scripture 2018 

If you would like to find out more, there are still places available for this year’s second version of this week, 22nd-29th September. CLICK HERE for more details

Nursing Home

Women’s World Day of Prayer was from Surinam, and many of the patients were involved in our service, in a full Bethany Lounge. Many thanks to Sheila for organising this.

We are delighted to have Stephanie Conway joining us as Activities’ Coordinator after the retirement of Joan Smith. We are very grateful to Joan for her work over the years and wish her all the very best in retirement. Stephanie has a particular interest in wildlife gardening, and we have taken expert advice in how to make Boarbank gardens as lively as possible for nature-loving residents.

The bird baths are already in evidence, much needed during this hot summer. A new regular visitor will be Pippa the dog, part of the PAT scheme.

The many activities in the Nursing Home have included history talks from Sr Michael, gardening, singing with Rachel, trips out with Lib in the minibus, a visit to an Open Garden, and a visit from the owls.

Ulverston Open Gardens

  101st Birthday celebration Minibus Trip With Patients Bolton le Sands 
  Holker Hall Coniston 

Richie Gaal from Hungary was with us for three months working as a Care Assistant as part of his formation as a seminarian for the Byzantine Catholic Church. We are missing him already!

Elisabeth and Rachel have had a week or so of work experience with us.

Elisabeth With Resident

Barrow Male Voice choir very kindly performed in the Chapel to raise funds for the Nursing Home and raised £170 which was an excellent total as it coincided with an England match early on in the World Cup. We are very grateful to them, Deborah their conductor and their supporters as well as to Sally and Kate for organising it.

Goodbye and thanks to Cindy who has left the kitchen, Tracy from the Guest House and Janet, Angela, Gill and Shelagh from the Nursing Home. We wish them every success in the future.

Welcome back to Chelsea returning to the Nursing Home.

Other news

Fr John recently celebrated his 70th birthday: many thanks, Fr John for all you do for us, and Ad Multos Annos!

Sr Michael has given talks to the local U3A group and to Cartmel Mothers’ Union about Boarbank and Augustinian life, including tours of the house.

Visit U3A Talk & Tour with Sr Michael

Sr Margaret A. has given talks to Catholic School Chaplains in Leeds, on the Beatitudes, and to a conference at Uppingham School for students interested in university courses in theology.

Requiescant in Pace

Sisters and friends who have died recently include Sr Bernard (Park House and Ince Blundell), Sr Christine (Ince Blundell), Margery Morris, Clare Barnes, Barbara Noblet, Sue Crook, Miriam Griffin, Phyllis Morgan, Pat Brady, Judith Todd and Derek Harrop. We offer prayers and sympathy for their families and friends. May they rest in peace.

Many thanks to Fr Martin, Teresa, Elisabeth, Sr Michael, David, Julia and others for the photos.