From the Bishop of Oxford
Sir, - The headline of your report on the departure of 11
Sisters of the Community of St Mary the Virgin (CSMV) for the
Ordinariate (News, 14
December) suggests that they had lost their bid to stay at
Wantage as an ecumenical community.
The fact is that we were told by Roman Catholic canon lawyers
that it would be impossible for an ecumenical community with an
alternating Anglican and Roman Catholic Superior to be recognised
As Visitor to CSMV, I have been in discussion with the Sisters
for 18 months, as we have tried to honour their initial desire for
an ecumenical community, then their wish to have a period of a few
years living together while they worked out their future, and
finally, in the past few weeks, their intention to move on as a
separate community in the new year.
There are important legal and financial issues yet to be
resolved; but I hope to reach agreement in the next few weeks. I
wish them well as they journey on. My ongoing concern is for the
welfare of the Sisters who remain, and I am working with an
Advisory Group to this end.
Diocesan Church House
Oxford OX2 0NB