The Books >
Like all my books this first book - which I didn't 'write' as it's a series of interviews which I did and then transcribed - is about happiness. I had a friend who was becoming a young nun in the Church of England and I noticed that all my friends were a) horrified and b) fascinated. People think that nuns and monks 'give up' a lot but there is a paradox. In taking vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience they gain an incredible freedom. The reverse 'Money, sex and power' is what our society is obsessed with. Give up chasing these three things and what do you gain? Well, according to those who do - you gain your life - your freedome and the opportunity to give 100% of your time to your spiritual path.
A series of ten interviews with young novices who were, at the time, thinking of becoming nuns. Some went on to make life vows - others didn't. It was a joy and a priviledge to spend time listening to them.
No. I am too attached to the pleasure of male company to want be only with sisters. But there are worse ways to live than to be in a spiritual community with ancient traditions, with a group of women who share your values. The sisters laughed at me and told me that I would have more trouble with obedience than with celibacy. Obedience is known to the hardest of the obligations.
Yes - it's over ten years since it came out but it is still being read and I still get letters about it. Also due to the wonders of Amazon you can often still find copies here
Sister Teresa is no longer a member of the Community of the Sisters of Bethany in Hampshire. She has moved from there to the Community of the Sisters of the Church at Ham Common in Richmond. She is currently their 'Guest sister' looking after the guests who visit the convent for retreat, meditation workshops or just to escape to silence for a couple of days.
Sister Rachael has left the community and is no longer living the religious life.
Sister Helen is still happily a member of the Order or the Holy Paraclete, in Yorkshire, England. She took life vows in 2001. Her work she considers to be prayer. She also works as a hospital chaplain and, partly as a result of her interview in New Habits, is frequently asked to do media interviews. She was most recently asked to speak on the subject of 'sacrifice' for Songs of Praise. She says that she finds the idea of trying to be a good nun exhausting as it is more than she can manage to be a good human being.
'Sister Judith remains at the strict enclosed community of the Sisters of the Love of God in Oxford. They rise in the middle of the night each night to say prayers between 2am and 3am as well as the other prayers that make up part of the day. Sister Judith will leave the community only for medical reasons or to attend religious conferences.'
Sister Lynn has left the Community of the Sisters of the Church at Ham common in Richmond and is now working in the library service.
Sister Julie remains at the Community of the Holy Name in Derby.
Sister Margaret-Anne remains at All Saints Sisters of the Poor. She has also been ordained and works as a curate in the local church.
Sister Joan is no longer at the community of the Sacred Cross in Wales.
Sister Rose is still living in Brixton - with the Community of St Francis.
Sister Esther has left the community in Hove, Sussex, returned to Germany and is now married.
I love the idea of taking a silent retreat with contemplative Christian or Buddhist nuns or monks. Where can I do this?
A couple of my favourite centres in both traditons are listed on the 'Courses' page of 'The Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment ' here
There are usually some copies available here Amazon
The Books >