St Peter’s Bourne South Africa Experience
A team of young Christians residing at St Peter’s Bourne in North London recently travelled to South Africa and spent two weeks in the country visiting the good work being done by the Christian community there.
St Peter’s Bourne is a spiritual retreat in Whetstone, Barnet, which has its origins as a community established by the Sisters of the Resurrection of our Lord in Grahamstown, an order of nuns founded in South Africa during in the nineteenth century.
The Sisters withdrew from St Peter’s Bourne in 1995. However, the current residents of the St Peter’s Bourne House, who still keep a monastic lifestyle of reflection and community outreach, maintain close links with the Sisters and visited Grahamstown, South Africa to see first-hand their work running an orphanage and care home for the elderly.
During their time in South Africa, the team at St Peter’s Bourne also visited Sweet Home Farm, an informal settlement on the outskirts of Cape Town. There they met with an old colleague, Barry Lewis who now works as an architect for housing charity UBU, which is working in partnership with the Sweet Home Farm community to design modern, sustainable accommodation that can replace the poor quality social housing currently available to residents.
In addition, the St Peter’s Bourne team also visited Johannesburg, and met with a couple who had transformed their home into a baby-bank which provides a safe place for mothers to anonymously put their children up for adoption, and ensure that new parents can be found, and their child rehomed.
Jacques Mutevelian, Warden at St Peter’s Bourne, said of the visit:
“St Peter’s Bourne has enduring links with South Africa, and it was an eye-opening experience to see not only the vast extremes of poverty which exist there, but also the good work being done by the Christian community to help the needy, and transform lives.”
To learn more about the St Peter’s Bourne community and their role as a spiritual retreat you can visit their website via this link.