St Wilfrid's, Chelsea
In a recent article of the Governance Charity magazine, a statement was made that the Charity Commission wondered how many Trustees really knew their beneficiaries.
Reading this made me realise how much we Daughters of the Cross who are or have been Trustees know our beneficiaries because each one of us has worked and lived alongside them for most of our religious life.
Here, at St Wilfrid’s Convent, this is perhaps even truer than in any of our other Convents. This is because the Convent is actually an integral part of the St Wilfrid’s Residential Care Home, being the jutting out arm of the L-shaped building.
We share the staircases, the lifts where, on our up or down journeys we are able to exchange titbits of information with the residents; the food we eat comes from the same kitchen; our Chapel welcomes anyone who wishes to join us in our Services and, twice a month, we are welcome to join the Anglicans when they hold their Service.
Our residents range in age from the mid-seventies to one hundred plus – the Sisters do not quite reach that age range yet! In our large Conference room, many activities take place in which we are free to take part – Exercise to music; film club; celebration parties such as 100th birthday, major royal events or sporting events; ecumenical services for special occasions; monthly concert from students of the Royal College of Music.
Several of our activities are graced by gentlemen in scarlet coats – the Chelsea Pensioners – our neighbours from next door in the Royal Hospital. The Sisters and Residents are also welcome to enjoy coffee or more potent drinks in their Club room. Through the Royal Hospital, many of us have the privilege of visiting the Chelsea Flower Show.
So living as a Sister in St Wilfrid’s Convent is very much living as one with the Residents of St Wilfrid’s Residential Care Home.