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St. Helen's Carmelite Monastery


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#1 OFFLINE   Antoniette

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 06:15 PM

I am new here and have visited St. Helen's once two years ago to see a nun friend at the Carmelite monastery on Green lane in Eccleston. I have been allowed back to visit this August. The only problem is that the posted telephone seems to be missing one digit. Does anyone have the correct number? Please email to me privately to insure Mother Teresa of St. Paul and the sister's privacy. I would like to talk with the prioress before arriving, it takes weeks to confirm details by snail mail!

Antoniette
(Bebe@prodigy.net)

#2 OFFLINE   HORT

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 09:34 PM

I always thought the Carmalites at Eccleston were a "Silent" order.

In other words, only the Mother Supeior was allowed to speak to outsiders.

Can anyone advise if I am wrong?

#3 OFFLINE   Griffin

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 11:27 PM

The Carmelites are an enclosed order. As such, they have no contact with the outside world except in the case of family emergencies or occasional authorised visitors. When I used to call to read the gas meters some years ago, I first called at the lodge, which was a house outside the monastery precincts lived in by a couple whose job it was to act as the "interface" between the sisters and the outside world. They used to call through to the monastery on an old hand-cranked army field telephone, and tell them that the gas man was there. I then went around to the main door of the monastery, which was about twenty feet high, and waited. And waited. Clearly, in God's world, time was of little consequence, although it played hell with your bonus. Eventually, the enormous door creaked open, and I was greeted by two sisters - an old one with a beard and a young, pretty and giggly one whom, in different circumstances, I could have fancied. These sisters were allowed to talk to outsiders, and wore a special type of habit. They went in front of me, and the young one rang a bell, which was a warning to the other sisters to make themselves scarce. As we entered the kitchen, I would sometimes see one or two of them scurrying out of another door. They wore a different, "working" habit with sleeve protectors. There were three meters there, one of which was in a small meter house across the lawn, which I reached through a French window. The monastery had once been a rather nice private residence. As a monastery, it was absolutely spotless, if rather austere, and the overwhelming impressions were of peace and calm, and the smell of wax polish.

#4 OFFLINE   NIMROD

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 05:18 AM

I Think it was once the residence of the Walmsley-Cottom family.

Nimrod


#5 OFFLINE   HORT

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 06:46 AM

very interesting Griff, but should we be calling it a nunnery rather than a monestry?

#6 OFFLINE   stephen nulty

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 06:49 AM

Has anubody replied to the original request for a phone number?

#7 OFFLINE   Griffin

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 07:43 AM

I've only ever encountered the word "nunnery" in the line spoken by Hamlet to Ophelia in the play. I agree that the term "monastery" is usually associated with a community of men, and "convent" with women. However, if you take a look at the religious house under discussion, you'll see a sign on the high stone wall which clearly states "Carmelite monastery." No doubt a spot of research could turn up the reason.

#8 OFFLINE   Alan

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 05:02 PM

When we were kids in the early 50s we occasionally climbed over that wall, looking for conkers I think, but it was always with trepidation. We believed that the nuns could lock you up and that they had shaved heads and wore horse-hair knickers

#9 OFFLINE   blonde15

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 06:36 PM

griffin,

can u describe what the monastery looked like inside? was there a metal spiral staircase anywhere and lots of metal fretwork screens? it doesn't look a very big building is it small?

Edited by blonde15, 08 August 2009 - 06:37 PM.


#10 OFFLINE   Griffin

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Posted 04 September 2009 - 07:32 PM

Sorry, I only saw your question just now, because the topic was buried. I only went to certain parts of the house, because I was there to read a number of gas meters. I can't remember a staircase at all, or any grilles. I assume that, if sisters were permitted to receive visitors for exceptional reasons, the conversation would take place through a grille somewhere. There may have been a special visitors' room.

I recall the corridor from the main entrance doors, right on the lane, to the kitchens. Then I went into a large parlour and through the French windows on to the lawn - there was a meter in an outside box there. That was about it, really. The overwhelming impression was of peaceful austerity, with polished lino and dark wood. A bit like my own taste in interior decoration. It was a largish house, although by no means large for a religious institution. They've had some work done since, although I'm not sure what, because the stone wall was temporarily breached.

#11 OFFLINE   Tony J

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 10:07 AM

I remember a grille in the chapel at the right hand side of the altar, the nuns sat behind the grille for mass and the general public were permitted to use the main body of the chapel.

ant

#12 OFFLINE   Rencully

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 12:50 PM

I remember as a child going to the Carmalite Monastry with Blessed Julie for mass at the Chapel. This was to the right when you went through the gates. The nuns would behind a grille on the righthand side of the Chapel. I can occasionally when we entered there was a young nun who never spoke to us.

Edited by Rencully, 29 September 2009 - 12:51 PM.


#13 OFFLINE   blonde15

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Posted 30 September 2009 - 09:01 PM

hi thanks for ur comments,
i am sure that as a child i was at a convent in st helens, be it only briefly, but maybe it was the "naughty girls school" as they were run by nuns as well LOL

I remember what seemed like a mansion house with glass porch sweeping staircases, there was a spiral staircase somewhere and grilles with punched fretwork like the playing card clubs punched in to them. the building had a lodge house and sweeping curved drive. the place smelled of incense etc and even now if i go anywhere that smells like that i nearly faint......

#14 OFFLINE   andyr00

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Posted 13 October 2009 - 08:50 PM

I bet the number just needs a 7 in front, if it begins with 3 it wil need the 7 added.

Incidentally ive snogged a nun..Is that bad?:unsure:

#15 OFFLINE   brunty

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Posted 14 October 2009 - 10:19 AM

many yrs ago i used to deliver to st-annes monastry in sutton i was also given my
own key to get into the large kitchen at the rear.
not many outsiders knew this but behind the old wall in monastry lane was mass of land all cultivated growing veg all the year round i was given a cardboard box of
veg every week free but i had to do a favour in return,i had to "carry" the bets
for the three brothers who resided there one brother who i became quite friendly
with always treated me out of his winnings.
the place was spotless inside all you could smell was polish and freshly ground coffee which brother "vint" as we called him was in charge of.




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