Meet the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary

A Monastery of Nuns

following the Rule of St Benedict

within the Personal Ordinariate of

Our Lady of Walsingham

On the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, 2014 - a year to the day since we were received into the full communion of the Catholic Church at the Oxford Oratory - the Sisters of the Blessed Virgin Mary formally became the first autonomous monastery within the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, under the jurisdiction of the Ordinary, Monsignor Keith Newton.

This new step - approved by the Holy See - established us formally as a stable religious community and enabled us to re-affirm our religious vows for the first time publicly, within the Catholic communion. During the Mass on 1st January the sisters made their solemn vows in accordance with Benedictine tradition and sang three times in English the 'Suscipe': "Lord, establish me according to your word, that I may live; and do not disappoint me in my hope".

All ten sisters, pictured opposite, are formerly members of the Anglican Community of Saint Mary the Virgin, Wantage. During the initial stages of our life in the Catholic Church, we had existed as a Public Association of the Faithful, following the Benedictine spiritual tradition. We had spent the first eight months living with the wonderful nuns of St Cecilia's Abbey, Ryde and their exceptional Abbess, before moving, in August 2013, to our monastery in Birmingham.

Mgr Newton said: "On the one hand, this occasion on 1 January is simply a formalisation and renewal of the vows which the sisters have already taken as Anglicans, but it is also a new and exciting step…our prayer is that their example and witness will lead to more vocations to the religious life."