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A joyful celebration on Thursday evening, as parishioner Sue Lawrenson made her final vows in consecrated life, as a member of the Company of St Ursula.

The Company was founded by St Angela Merici in 1535. At the time it was a radical innovation - women would consecrate themselves to God for life, taking vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, but without becoming nuns. This form of consecrated life (as opposed to religious life - nuns and monks etc.) enabled the women to make a lifelong commitment and enjoy the benefit of mutual support whilst still living in 'the world', rather than in a convent.

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Sue made her first vows here at St Clare's in June 2017, and after five years of temporary profession, she was able to make her perpetual vows, meaning that she joins the Company for life, following the rule written by St Angela and inspired by her charism. The vows were made whilst holding the Paschal Candle - symbol of the risen Lord - as a symbol that Sue unites herself to Christ by this profession. She will also wear a ring as a sign of this spousal union with Jesus. We congratulate Sue on this important milestone and assure her of our prayers as she seeks to live out, day by day, her consecrated life.