The recent visit at Norton College Worcester from Sister Jessica was an enormous success and was truly mind-blowing.  The topic within Religious Education this month is Places of Worship and we took advantage of the monastery’s nearby location.

Sister Jessica is from the local monastery called Mucknell Abbey and is a Benedictine Anglican nun. She spent the morning with us after Easter and offered us the chance to visit the Abbey and to visit us again.

Mucknell Abbey is an Anglican Benedictine monastery in Worcestershire, England.

As soon as Sister Jessica arrived, she generated a lot of positive interest and students were fascinated by her and treated her with the utmost respect. They asked her a range of interesting questions about religion, her daily routine and how often she prayed each day. They were amazed that she could do everyday things like going on holiday, swimming and all the things we probably think she wouldn’t be able to do. For the students it was a real eye opener as to how some people live their lives. Sister Jessica sang our praises and congratulated us for being an amazing college and in an email to me after her visit she said this about Norton and our students: ‘They were great ambassadors for your school, and for your whole approach to them and their learning’ and in an later article she wrote:

‘As well as welcoming visitors to the monastery, I paid a visit to Norton College, a nearby secondary school. One of their students, with teacher in tow, had come up to the Abbey out of curiosity a month or so ago, and the contact made has developed into a plan to welcome a group of students to the monastery to visit particularly the Oratory as part of their R.E. curriculum. I went and spent a morning at the college, meeting some of the students and showing them some photos of the Oratory and the wider monastery too; we’re looking forward to arranging a visit here some time in May. The College offers a bespoke curriculum that enables their students to overcome barriers to learning, and with a guiding philosophy of kindness, warmth and compassion it is an inspirational place to be. I greatly enjoyed seeing the work the school was doing, and also meeting young men and women who would probably never usually engage with monastic life. Several of them, including the group below, were fascinated and asked lots of thoughtful questions.’

We look forward to seeing her again.