As you will have gathered from our Vocations page and what is said in these FAQ, the process of joining the community takes a while.
First of all, we have to get to know one another and see whether there is a likelihood of your having a vocation to this community. In the first instance, we invite you to write or email and tell us something about yourself. This FAQ should give you an idea of the kind of information that would be helpful. Next, either the prioress or the novice mistress will be in touch with you. We ask everyone who is exploring a vocation with us to take part in video conversations using Skype. That enables more spontaneous interchange than is possible by email alone. At some point, if we think that you might have a vocation to this community, you will be invited to spend a few weeks living with the community as a pre-postulant. That will give you a chance to see something of our life from the inside and experience something of its demands. It will also allow us to get to know you at a deeper level than is possible by email or occasional visits (real or virtual). If all goes well and you ask to join, we will begin the formal process of admission to the novitiate. We have to satisfy the requirements of both Canon and civil law so that means some paperwork has to be completed. To give you an idea of what is involved, you will be asked to
1. Fill in a questionnaire which gives some basic information about yourself, e.g. where you were born, your education, job, etc. This also contains a declaration that you have no debts/dependent children and are free to undertake the obligations of monastic life.
2. Provide certificates of Baptism and Confirmation (also certificates of Reception into Full Communion/Annulment of Marriage, as appropriate). If you have not yet been confirmed, we would normally expect you to receive the sacrament before becoming a postulant.
3. Give the names and addresses of at least two referees to whom we can write. One should normally be your confessor or spiritual director if you have one, or at any rate someone who can speak with real knowledge of your spiritual development, seriousness of purpose, etc.
4. Have a medical.
5. Provide a copy of your Birth certificate if you are a British national; fulfil the requirements of civil law regarding visas, etc if you are not.
This may sound a bit daunting, but it is just something we have to work through. Please take it as a general guide rather than a detailed account of a process which is, after all, intended to help you become the person God wants you to be, in the place He wants you to be.
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