Sunday, 17 June 2007

A Little Piece of Portugal

Moving further up into Clergy House, and following yesterday's posting, here is the garden of our Portuguese sisters, with its cammanding view of the Cathedral apse. The shrubbery provides ample shade and privacy - note the satellite dish, through which the sisters receive television from Portugal.

I recently presented them with a Jasminum Azoricum - Azores Jasmine - a fragrant and familiar plant from their native land.


Anonymous said...

That is a very pretty corner; (the bench could use a lick of paint, though. ;) )

With those historic pictures of the cathedral complex posted here lately, I was just wondering why the architect, John Francis Bentley, designed all the buildings in one cluster on the 'eastern' side of the cathedral, while leaving the 'southern' part (now occupied by the Vincent de Paul school and the choir school playground) completely empty?

Andrew said...

Father, why do the Portuguese sisters have a convent next to Westminster Cathedral rather than an English congregation?

Mark Langham said...

Good point, Ivo. Partly, I think Bentley was aware of the view from the south, which is still magnificent, wishing that not to be cluttered. Having decided to place the Archbishop's House in Ambrosden Avenue, the Clergy House 'followed' (being part of the same complex) and the Choir School needed to be close to the apse for ease of access.

Mark Langham said...

Interesting story. For many years, German Nuns worked at Clergy House. When they withdrew, in the late 1970s, the then sub-Administrator Fr Guazzelli (later Bishop)went back to his roots as a student at the English College in Lisbon. He knew of an order there that were looking to make a foundation in England, because their foundress, Irma Mary Wilson had been an Englishwoman who had converted and moved to the Azores. He invited them to the Cathedral -which perfectly suited their needs. Thus began a link which is now nearly thirty years old!

Andrew said...

Thanks for the info, Father!