Sisters of Charity to leave Knowle West

The house on Filwood Broadway where the Religious Sisters of Charity have been based since 1937.

The house on Filwood Broadway where the Religious Sisters of Charity have been based since 1937.

The Religious Sisters of Charity who have been based in Knowle West since 1937 will be leaving by the end of the year.

They have become a real fixture in the area, helping out at local groups, charities and schools and visiting the sick and isolated in their homes.

But now the remaining nuns will be moving to communities elsewhere and the house on Filwood Broadway will be sold.

Sister Maura – who has been based here since 1998 – said she was sad to be leaving to move to another community in Birmingham.

She said: “It’s been fun… I’ve enjoyed events like the build up before the Carol Bus goes out and I used to love going round seeing all the Christmas lights on the houses.

“What I will really miss most is the people – residents come to visit and we run a Ladies Club here every other week. We also go out to visit the sick and people living on their own… I help out at Christ the King School and I’ve enjoyed working with the children.

“I’ll also miss the groups in the church; we still have Churches Together meetings here and I look forward to meeting people from different churches…”

Over the years the Sisters have been known for their work with local organisations such as Filwood Hope, re:work and Knowle West Alcohol and Drugs Service (KWADS).

Resident Denise Britt said the nuns leaving would be a huge loss to the area as they had been involved for so long.

She said: “I’ve worked with them on KWADs and the Development Trust. We would always call on them for different projects and they have always supported the things that went on around Knowle West and done lots of work in the community…

“They have been there since I was a little girl, when I was small I was frightened of them as they wore their habits but over the last few years they haven’t worn them.

“They have always been there and it is really sad, another thing going from Knowle West.”

The Religious Sisters of Charity is celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. The Congregation was founded by Mary Aikenhead – who has just been declared Venerable by the Pope.

She applied to Rome in 1815 for the Sisters to take a fourth vow of “Service to the Poor” – allowing them to visit the penniless, sick and hungry in their own homes.

Today there are more than 400 Religious Sisters of Charity in England, Ireland and Scotland as well as across the globe in Australia, America and Africa.

For more information about the Religious Sisters of Charity visit www.rsccaritas.org