Ageing nuns must leave by the end of March

The Carmelite Monastery on Green Lane, Eccleston
The Carmelite Monastery on Green Lane, Eccleston

Nuns residing at a St Helens monastery are set to leave for good at the end of the month.

Coun Teresa Sims told a meeting of Eccleston Parish Council that nuns at the Carmelite Monastery would all have left by the end of March and that trees in the grounds should be protected the following day.

She also moved to reassure residents that, should any future planning applications be received about the site, the Parish Council would inform residents.

The monastery, a fixture in St Helens for more than 100 years, is set to close due to the “age and ill health” of its nuns.

The dwindling number of postulants - down to just eight - has spelled closure for the Green Lane haven of silent prayer and peace.

The Carmelite sisters arrived in St Helens from Notting Hill in London in 1914 and settled in Springfield Hall, the former residence of the Cotham and Walmesley families.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Liverpool said: “It is with great sadness that the Carmelite Sisters announce the closure of their Monastery in Green Lane, Eccleston, St Helens.

“With no new vocations to the Order the Sisters have decided after much prayer, reflection and discernment that because of age and ill health the St Helens community will disperse to other monasteries.

“The future of the buildings will be determined following the closure. The sisters thank the local community for their prayers and support over many years.”