At the request of Archbishop Sentamu, two Sisters are based at Bishopthorpe Palace. They are there to support in prayer the Archbishop's ministry in the diocese of York, the Northern Province of the Church of England and further afield in this country and overseas. They share in the corporate prayer life of the Palace community, upholding all its work in prayer.
During the week the Sisters are responsible for the sacristy work. They also have a special role in responding to prayer requests.
They work as part of the Palace team, providing hospitality for the many and varied groups which come for meetings.
The Sisters are also available to cover any other tasks required by the staff, from listening to individuals who wish to talk or providing flower arranging skills, and anything in between.
On Sundays, the Sisters worship in the Parish Church, St Andrew's, where they are on the welcoming/sidespeople team, and Sr Erika is on the PCC.
For more information about Archbishop Sentamu and the projects that are supported by him, please see the Archbishop of York Website.
From the Bishopthorpe Website:
5 Oct 2016
“The Archbishop of York welcomed Sister Heather Francis from the Order of the Holy Paraclete to Bishopthorpe Palace at a Community Eucharist. Sister Heather Francis will join Sister Erika in supporting the Archbishop in his Ministry and will provide Bishopthorpe with a regular praying presence and commitment to the spiritual life of the Palace community.”
In September 2016, Sr Alison moved to the Priory, and Sr Heather Francis moved to Bishopthorpe.
Being in Bishopthorpe gives Sisters Alison and Erika a great opportunity to meet visiting clergy, and below is a photograph from November 2015, when Reverend Margaret W. Nguku from Kenya, Diocese of Mbeere, visited us for time together and tea. She was in England with two other Kenyan clergy and spent several days in Bishopthorpe.
Sr Erika wrote about her visit:
She knows well one of our local clergy and family, and it was through them that we were given the opportunity to invite Margaret. We had a fascinating and quite searching conversation about God and his ways! On another day during the visit we joined many others of our Church who support Project Riandu for a delicious Kenyan supper. Project Riandu is an ongoing project building a secondary school for deaf children.
Sr Heather Francis and Sr Erika outside the Palace
Sr Erika and Sr Alison outside the main Palace gate