This week I'll be sharing my story of God at work in my life as part of #OfGodAndMe #ThisNunsStory series. Inevitably its a series of snapshots I have plucked out of my memory album in order to tell my story. At a different time I might well have chosen different snapshots. 1/15
I was a post #war baby born in the leafy suburb of #Sutton to parents who had met in the RAF during the war.I now belong to the Congregation of the Daughters of the Cross of Liege (FC) & live in Much Hadham, Herts. 2/15 ImageImage
Dad, a teacher on #sthelier council estate was the son of a Rhondda valley miner who had died at 49 of TB & silicosis. Mum is a Geordie handweaver who drove 3-ton lorries in the war. Her father had been orphaned age 7 when his Dad died of TB. 3/15
Dad was a #Methodist who became a #Catholic when he married Mum, while Mum’s mother had been an Anglican until she married Grandad. The Methodist/Catholic mix coupled with the Welsh/Geordie mix made for some very lively ‘discussions’ at the Sunday lunch table after Mass. 4/15
Because of these discussions I knew from an early age that it is OK to #question, debate & disagree in matters of faith, indeed it is an important part of holding a #faith. This belief hasn’t made for an easy life in many situations, however! 5/15
At 5 I started at the Catholic primary, St Philomenas & at 11 transferred to their secondary school. The school was run by the Daughters of the Cross and the smell of plasticene takes me back to that first class and the joy of pounding the stuff to make models. 6/15
My family had an #allotment which is a way of life rather than a statement. Here plants and produce were shared, success was celebrated, everyone looked out for each other and the whole ‘village’ raised the children. 7/15
As well as enjoying fresh produce we learnt about #community & respect for the natural world. My bestie and I spent hours catching #grasshoppers, making dens in the long grass & just getting up close and personal with #nature. 8/15
We went to church on Sunday and I said my night prayers each night when I prayed to have a brother or a sister. I considered that it was my #prayer that had resulted in my sister being born when I was 7 and was utterly enchanted by her. 9/17
I had an independent spirit and I was often in trouble in primary school but I always had a safe haven with the sister who served dinners. Looking back she truly embodied our foundresses instruction, “Be kind, be kind, be kind” Her #kindness made a lasting impression on me 10/15
The gift of learning to read, (thanks to Dick and Dora) was closely followed by an addiction to the public library where I discovered Andrew Laing’s Fairy tale books where the weakest always triumph because of their kindness & the wicked got their comeuppance. 11/15
Later I discovered Fred Hoyle, Ray Bradbury & John Wyndham who helped me to think outside the box & to believe that other worlds are possible. Sci Fi helped me to think deeper while at the same time enlightened RE #teachers were opening up a world of faith for me.12/15
We had a wonderful headmistress in Sr Mary Webb (Sr Mary Joanna) a staunch #Labour supporter she had a breadth of vision and belief in each person. My bestie & I had a riot of a time doing our own thing & enjoyed life to the full including playing lacrosse and netball 13/15
But my abiding memory of Sr Mary was her stillness in prayer when reciting the #rosary at the Legion of Mary. This made a great impression on me & I started making visits to the chapel at lunch time and enjoying the stillness and quietness I found there. 14/15
I loved reading autobiographies & I longed to be like my scientist heroine, Marie Curie. I also avidly read lives of the saints, my favourite being Therese of Lisieux as a feisty girl who knew her own mind. Bit by bit a seed was growing, you could call it love. 15/15

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More from @Gillianfc

8 Apr
Thursday Day 4 #OfGodAndMe #ThisNunsStory
In the last 2 years at Brighton I drove a Honda 50 CC motor bike and this came with me to ‘London. It wasn’t very fast & I enjoyed the smells of the countryside (can anything beat the smell of a field of flowering beans?) 1/25
London was a very different experience, however in more ways than one. I decided to live at the Chelsea convent of the Daughters of the Cross in Cale Street & while the house was a hostel/home for the elderly I was living with the community. 2/25
And so I became a postulant (seeker) This was very different to my first postulancy, however as I had complete independence. Each weekday morning I travelled on the underground from South Kensington to my school in Mile End in East London 3/25
Read 25 tweets
7 Apr
And so Day 3 of my story of God at work in my life as part of #OfGodAndMe #ThisNunsStory series. Yesterday mention of the book, The Silver Sword seems to have struck a chord with many so perhaps its not out of place to mention that today 7th April is #Worldhealthday 1/20
Ian Serraillier ended his talks by showing this photo with the words, ‘No child should ever again have that expression on his face’. My hope this the UK as host of the upcoming #G7 summit will prioritise Universal health care for all. #UCH 2/20
So back to my story. Living at home again and my dream of religious life gone out the window I applied and got a place for September at Brighton College of Education to do a cert ed in biological science & primary education 3/20
Read 21 tweets
6 Apr
I read the story The Silver sword by Ian Serrailler. Its about 3 Polish children who separated from their parents in World War II cross war torn Europe facing war, danger & #disease. These are children like me, I thought & was so glad I had been born after the war finished. 1/20
Living through the war as RAF personnel my parents also had a horror of war, which rubbed off on me. I saw photos of the relief of Belsen & I decided that I would do everything I could to stop war #poverty & #prejudice. 2/20
I remember Dad telling us about the jigsaw at his #Methodist Sunday school with the map of the world on one side and the face of Jesus on the other. “taking care of the world is taking care of Jesus” he said 3/20
Read 22 tweets

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