News from December 2021


We still do regular testing – “Down and Up” as it is refered to among us – and thanks be to God we have not had any positives. A big thank you, as always, to all our staff, who have worked so hard to keep Boarbank free of the virus.


On 28th September we celebrated 100 years since the Sisters first arrived at Boarbank, and on 6th October the centenary of the first convalescents arriving. The Community had a Mass and Lunch to mark the occasion and gave wine and cakes to the patients and staff for them to share our joy.

The gardeners made a beautiful display on the front lawn which read ‘BOARBANK HALL 100’, and Sr Margaret A used it as the basis for raising some money by guessing how many plants were used. Congratulations to Debbie and to Nancy and Paul, the joint winners (the answer was 1,200).

Our hope is that next year we will be able to celebrate in true Boarbank style.


We have had other important causes to celebrate within the Community, although not as we would have hoped or as originally planned. Sr Margaret M’s Golden Jubilee was first, with her three sisters joining us in July, then a further community celebration in September.  In between came a significant birthday for Sr Elizabeth.

Alongside this, we have enjoyed being able to receive more visit from our families and friends. These have included Fr Ian Wilson OSA, who celebrated Mass for us and joined up for lunch; Sr Michaela from Hyning who stayed for about 10 days; Claire and David from Cockermouth; Derek and Margaret then Angela and Mike all from Liverpool; Terry and Gail from the North East. An especially important visit was made by Gordon to his aunt Sr Mary Benedict – he travelled over from Ireland for an overnight stay, which brought happiness to them both as well as to the Community and to the extended family. The Guest House has remained with a maximum of 3 bubbles at any one time, which has enabled us to welcome family and friends and some visitors who haven’t been before.

Most Sisters have had some holiday with their families, including Sr Ildikó to Hungary after a very long wait

Other causes for celebration were John and Pat’s 60th Wedding Anniversary and Sr Reina of Hyning’s Final Profession, which was attended by Sr Ildikó and Sr Florence, who told us how prayerful and joyful it was. Having booster and flu jabs was also a cause of celebration, especially as the BBC came to film and interview our Manager, Elizabeth, and some of our residents to encourage other people to have the boosters. The team were as organised and efficient as ever and we are immensely grateful to all our staff and resident’s who are now fully vaccinated.

The Community’s three-day retreat at the end of October led by Fr Chris Thomas of the Ireneus Project, Liverpool, on the theme of the Gospel of St Luke, and was greatly appreciated. We also marked the Season of Creation and COP 26 with special prayers.


Like everyone else, the Sisters have been doing a lot of zooming, joining in, for example, with events organised by the Conference of Religious. For Sr Margaret A., that has meant a lot of work relating to Laudato Si’, which has suddenly become a focus of attention. This has included continuing our series of Zoom weekends on Living Laudato Si’: Your Planet and Your Parish, run in conjunction with John Paul and Ellie of the Ecological Conversion Group and Trish, a Live Simply Assessor. Sr Margaret has also given various talks on theology and creation to diocesan and other groups. Together with Fr Richard Finn OP she ran a Thinking Faith summer zoom week on Pope Francis’ book Let Us Dream, at which Austen Ivereigh was a guest speaker. She has also given a retreat for the Wonersh diocese and a Day of Reflection to education leaders in the North West Dioceses, and shared a course on St Augustine in Uppsala, Sweden. Covid may keep us grounded, but Zoom allows us to spread our wings!

Garden Update

Regular readers will be aware that we have been doing our best on the ecological front, though we are aware that there is a long way to go, on everything from waste management to heating to the the use of our land. This year we have managed to make much more use of the garden for growing food for the kitchen, for which grateful thanks are due to both our gardeners and our cooks.

We are working hard to develop holistic systems which will build richer soil and reduce (eventually remove) the need for non-organic treatment of crops. We are also planning another planting session with the Primary School, this time of new hedgerows. We have also started to enrich the top field with more wildflowers and hope the effects will begin to show next year.

Nursing Home

Some sadness too has been experienced as we said goodbye to Sue (after more than 30 years working with us) and to Debbie, as they move on to new challenges. We are so grateful to them both for all that they have contributed to Marymount and we wish them every blessing in the future.

Requiescant in Pace

We also lost some special friends and pray that they will rest in peace and their loved ones be comforted. They were remembered especially earlier this month during our annual services beginning with All Saints, a Day of Remembrance for our deceased Sisters, All Souls and another Day of Remembrance for our deceased patients, parishioners, family and benefactors. This year these have include Annette Bushell, Shirley Burwell, Joe Brew, Rosemary Mitchell, Elizabeth Dobson, Lee Beardsmore and Elaine Cowell. May they rest in peace.