Convent of the Incarnation · Fairacres · Parker Street · Oxford · OX4 1TB Telephone: +44 (0) 1865 721301 Email Us
In December last year we shared with you a little of our plans for work to make our buildings more supportive of our community life. As Sister Clare-Louise said, it's an enormous undertaking, and a lot of things need to be done even before a planning application is submitted. These included an eighty six page arboricultural impact assessment; bat surveys which revealed that our buildings and garden provide key commuting and foraging habitat for Common and soprano pipistrelles, noctules and mouse-eared bat species; and an archaeological evaluation. For this a ten test pits were dug by hand, and based on what these yielded to the expert eyes of the team from Oxford Archaeology, five trenches dug by a small mechanical excavator.
The excavations yielded some prehistoric flints, a Roman boundary ditch, sherds of Roman and mediaeval pottery, 18th-19th century clay tobacco pipe fragments and a mediaeval metal book clasp. The report, which is available on the Oxford City Council Planning website, is impressive in its detail. We are reassured to learn that it's unlikely that there is anything of much significance under our lawns!
We held two drop-in meetings for people living near us. Our architects (from MEB Design Ltd) and project manager (Ridge and Partners) brought plans and projections and were available to explain the project and answer questions. The feedback from these meetings has been very positive, so we hope that our application for planning permission will be successful.
We welcomed Melissa and Rachelle from the Community of St Anselm at Lambeth Palace to share our life for a week in January. They joined us for our Sunday afternoon time of recreation and had meetings with individual sisters as well as the taking part in the daily pattern of work and worship. Sister Margaret Theresa took them on a tour of some of the places in Oxford associated with the Oxford Movement and the revival of the religious life in the Church of England.
In February sister Margaret Theresa and Sister Judith took part in a Monastic Experience for Oxford university students arranged by a group of college chaplains. Two members of the Community of the Resurrection and sisters from the Community of Saint Mary the Virgin and All Saints Sisters of the Poor also took part-preaching in college chapels, leading intercessions and sharing meals, and being available for a range of meetings.