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Half yearly paper - May to October 2004

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Since their enforced return to the U.K. after the death in 1993 of Father Golding B.E., Superior at O.M. Barisal and the last of the English Fathers there, the Sisters of the Epiphany from Bangladesh have found a welcoming home with the Community of AII Hallows in Suffolk. They did not join the Community but retained their own identity: Mother Winifred SE. keeps the Rule of the Sisterhood and prays daily for her much-loved Bangladesh.

Here the Mother Superior CAH tells us something of the life of their Community:

Ditchingham, Bungay, Suffolk

The Superior writes:

The main string of the life here is the prayer and worship which run through each day, together with the living of the common life which makes us a community. From this springs our care of the house and chapel, and of each other; the offering of hospitality to others in the guest-houses - including All Hallows House in Norwich - and at the two big Centres; such direction and guidance and support that people seek from us; and our work of healing and care in the Hospital and Nursing Home (which latter was where Sister Rosamund was looked after).

Sisters are responsible for the running of the guest-houses and the care of the guests; there is a Sister in charge of the chapel, the library and the kitchen; the running of the Centres and the two care establishments is entrusted to competent professionals who are also completely dedicated to All Hallows, and with whom we work together to fulfil our ministry.

In addition, 'outside ministry' can be undertaken so long as it does not compromise the commitment to God through our membership of each other in Community. This 'membership' is what binds us together and prevents any one piece of work becoming the property of one particular individual. To underline this, and to prevent any one person becoming too pressurised, much of the work around the house is shared out among us, becoming more of a corporate thing as a result.

We try as a community to be available to those who really need what we can offer and are probably not in a position to find it elsewhere But we have to be aware of our limitations, and of the fact that sometimes we are asked for support which we simply are not qualified to give. Then we just have to have the humility to recognise this, and to say "no" - confident that whatever Gad wants of us he will give us the resources to provide.

SHEILA, Mother C.A.H

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