Monastery of Poor Clares, Much Birch, Hereford

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Monastery of Poor Clares, Much Birch, Hereford

Those who feel they may have a calling to this Franciscan way of life are invited to spend a day with us, please contact the monastery to make arrangements, by letter or phone.

Poor Clare Monastery, Much Birch, Hereford HR2 8PS

Tel: 01981 540546 Fax: 01981 541195

The Poor Clares came to Hereford in 1880, having been founded from a Monastery in London. The original Monastery had to be moved to this site for various reasons and the Community are now living in a purpose built Monastery which was built in 1995.

We are a group of women who live the Gospel life in the Church, a way of life begun by St. Clare in the thirteenth Century. Life then was a far cry from to-day, but generous souls can find a fulfilled and happy life in Community, which is a vital element for Saint Clare. There is a balance between the life lived as Contemplatives in an enclosed Order and the necessary work, to which all contribute.

The Liturgy, Private Prayer, Work and Community Life are the essential elements with special emphasis on Franciscan simplicity, lived out in our present world. The Monastery is a suitable setting for the contemplative Life and provides a helpful environment for prayer, which takes the religious out into the heart of the world. Many have been attracted by the cloistered life to be found within the church, for it is seen as authentic and very positive.

Even in the midst of a fast changing world, God is still calling many generous men and women to share in His redemptive work. A Religious is a witness to the values of life that really matter. It is not running away from life, but the contrary - a turning to the fullness of life and a willingness to be at the service of the world.

Saint Clare was born in Assisi in 1193, a small city in Umbria in Italy. As a young girl she listened to Saint Francis talking about God, and she was captivated by his words. Clare like Francis felt that God was calling her to dedicate her life to God, by following the Poor Christ, and living the life of the Gospels. She renounced her worldy goods, leaving a life which was of the highest nobility to follow Francis in his ideals. The Poor Clares were founded by Saint Francis and are known as the Second Franciscan Order

Saint Clare was the first woman to write her own Rule. At the time, all had to have an identical Rule, but as Clare felt her ideals of Poverty were not contained in the Rule as authorised, she insisted that her own Rule of Poverty and Simplicity was the only one that embodied Francis and her own ideals of what God’s will was for them.

The Poor Clares rapidly spread, and are now world wide. As the Church has said very often, the life of prayer and dedication as lived by enclosed Religious is necessary everywhere, and the Church in any area is not complete if there is not this witness to transcendental values in her midst.

Blessing of St Clare

May Almighty God bless you. May He look upon you with the eyes of his mercy and give you peace. Here below may He pour forth His graces on you abundantly, and in heaven may He bless you among His saints.

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