Norton, Sister A. F. (1974) A history of the community of St. Mary the Virgin, Wantage: foundation and early development 1848-1858. Masters thesis, Durham University.
The Community of St. Mary the Virgin was founded in 1848 by William Butler Vicar of Wantage, and Miss Elizabeth Lockhart. Sisterhood life began and was established on are regular pattern of work and worship, Archdeacon Manning having the spiritual oversight. Butler wanted an educational Sisterhood, and Sisters taught in a small school which he established before beginning to build up National Schools. Soon Manning and Miss Lockhart decided to undertake penitentiary work instead, responding to an appeal that the Anglican Church should provide care for necessitous prostitutes. Butler concurred, the first small St. Mary's Home for Penitents being opened in Wantage in 1850, to which women applied voluntarily for admission. Then Miss Lockhart seceded to the Roman Church. Manning also relinquishing his connexion, Butler guided the Sisterhood with Bishop Wilberforce's advice, until Sister Harriet was elected Superior in 1853. Only seven Sisters joined the Community permanently during its first decade, assistance being given by temporary Sisters and exterior sisters. Applications multiplying, a larger Home was built, largely financed by donations. In 1853 the Oxford Penitentiary began to act as a refuge, receiving applicants for a short preliminary stay, and then sending ten of them to Wantage annually for periods of training up to two years , during which they did laundry work and received instruction and care. In 1855 another educational Sisterhood was inaugurated. This proved unsatisfactory and collapsed with in a year. Their work, which included a Middle School, was undertaken by St. Mary's Sisters and others. In 1853 a Mrs, Trevelyan came to Wantage. She built a house to accommodate her own Industrial School and the local girl pupil-teachers and mistresses, requesting the Sisters to take charge. Though small, the Community became firmly established, it’s first Constitutions and Rules receiving episcopal approval in 1855 and 1857.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Award:||Master of Arts|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||14 Mar 2014 16:25|