Community of St Mary the Virgin

One of the oldest traditional Religious Communities in the Church of England

The latest updates from and about the Community are in Jottings

Retreat on the theme of Christian symbolism in a modern society

Friday 29 to Sunday 31 May 2015.  

Lead by the Revd David Wippell, the weekend will explore the development and use of symbolism in the Christian Church, with a particular emphasis on embroidery. There will be workshop sessions in which the participants will be able to embroider a canvas work panel, reflecting the theme of the weekend, in the Convent embroidery workshop. The weekend will be suitable for all levels of embroidery expertise and the cost will include all materials. It will be an advantage but not a necessity if participants supplied their own scissors, tapestry needles and thimbles.

The retreat is aimed at those who have never experienced a retreat before and those who are familiar with the concept.  

Guest Wing Costs         45 per person per night

Workshop Costs           30 per person

Initial booking enquires to the Guest Wing.


(click on the photographs to see larger images)

The Community of St Mary the Virgin was founded in 1848 by William John Butler, then Vicar of Wantage in Oxfordshire. It remains one of the oldest traditional Religious Communities in the Church of England.

CSMV Sisters are called to respond to their vocation in the spirit of Mary, Mother of Jesus: "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be to me according to your word". The common life is centred in the worship of God through the Eucharist, the Daily Office and in personal prayer. From these all else flows. 

The Community also concentrates on engaging in spiritual direction and in welcoming and hosting retreats and day groups. Individuals are also welcome to visit and stay at in the convent's Guest Wing and all are welcome to join in the Daily Office.

Through "Wantage Overseas" the Community maintains links with projects in Botswana, India and South Africa, these being periodically reported in the "Wantage Overseas Review". 

There is an active network of CSMV Oblates and Associates in the UK and overseas, who adhere to a Rule of Life and who endeavour to live out the charism of the Community wherever they are in the world.

The Community Prayer: 

Almighty God, by your angel Gabriel you chose Mary to be the Mother of your only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, filling her with grace and calling her blessed. Give to us who are gathered into one Community under her name grace to walk in her footsteps, to be lowly, obedient, faithful and to say in all things and at all times "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let it be to me according to your word". Through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



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