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Poor Clare exodus will leave us bereft

SIR – It is impossible, of course, to quantify the value given to a community when it has a contemplative religious order at the heart of its daily life. The citizens of Lynton and Lynmouth have lived as one with an order of Poor Clare Sisters in its main street for more than 100 years. The daily ringing of the Angelus bell at its three set times has made the whole area aware of these calls to prayer, and the scurrying of the extern Sister going about her business in the town has given us regular fleeting encounters with life “on the inside”. However, the true value to the area is unfathomable by mere mortals. It has been a God-given gift to this place.

By the middle of September our much-valued community of Sisters will have dispersed from their Lynton house around the

country, to other religious communities, and we will be left bereft. These Lynton Sisters of Poor Clare have been a silent and prayerful constant in all our lives. We as a community, outside their strict regime of prayerful watching and waiting on God, have been enriched by their lives devoted to us through the eyes of God.

Their constant prayerfulness has helped many of us at a personal level through our own difficult times, as well as during disasters within our community, not forgetting the constant troubles in various parts of the world – natural and man-made.

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