Anita

The pilgrims, the Aldens and for that matter, the Woodwells, all arrived on our shores in search of freedom, and above all the freedom to worship as they chose.

No wonder that our family tree is sprinkled with reverends and pastors and preachers. My walks along Plyers Mill Road with grandpa were sometimes history lessons, and I still remember my disbelief that, as a boy, Grandpa’s allowance was something like ten cents. Grandpa explained this with the remark, “our dad was a preacher.”

But that is history. We must look pretty hard in the 21st century to find relatives who are doing God’s work, or anything like it. Which makes Anita Woodwell special, and I think, heroic.

Thank you Anita, for your service, your dogged Woodwellness, and for the stories that I hope you will find time to share with us. This page is my modest effort at a start. CL


l to r: Revd Sr Anita Woodwell SGS, Revd Sr Enid Morgan SGS, Rt Revd Dominic Walker OGS, Revd Sr Ann Paton SGS

l to r: Revd Sr Anita Woodwell SGS, Revd Sr Enid Morgan SGS, Rt Revd Dominic Walker OGS, Revd Sr Ann Paton SGS

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    A New Anglican Religious Community is Born

    On 25th April, a women’s version of the Oratory of the Good Shepherd (OGS), came into being when the the three founding members, the Revd. Sister Ann Paton SGS, the Revd. Sister Enid Morgan SGS and the Revd. Sister Anita Woodwell SGS, made their vows before the Bishop of Monmouth, the Rt Revd Dominic Walker OGS. Read more…


    The best view in the world?

    “……home to Sister Anita Woodwell, a hermit”

    “The best view in the world” – who can argue with the sentiment voiced by the dean of St David’s, the Very Reverend J. Wyn Evans. In the valley below his home, lies one of Britain’s most beautiful and inspiring cathedrals. As the winter sun casts an almost ethereal light over the historic edifice, you can only envy him.

    Ein prif nod a’n braint yw addoli’r Duw a’n gwnaeth, a chyhoeddi mai Iesu yw Gwaredwr a gobaith y byd

    Ein prif nod a’n braint yw addoli’r Duw a’n gwnaeth, a chyhoeddi mai Iesu yw Gwaredwr a gobaith y byd

    In the sixth century this sheltered spot was chosen by St David to build a simple monastery. In its place was constructed a cathedral which became so important to Christianity that in medieval times two pilgrimages to St David’s were regarded as equal to one pilgrimage to Rome. The cathedral building had to be restored after an earthquake in 1247 and again, following the ravages of Oliver Cromwell’s troops in 1648, when the roof was stripped of lead and the stained glass and bells were removed. Around the cathedral grew a large self-sufficient community. The most important and impressive building – apart from the cathedral – was the Bishop’s Palace. Today it is a magnificent ruin and the bishops of St David’s now reside in the palace at Abergwili, near Carmarthen. Many of the other buildings have also disappeared. But there still remains a small collection of houses, which creates the core of a close-knit cathedral community.

    Try this virtual tour

    Try this virtual tour

“The houses at The Close and Cloisters were built for those who serve the cathedral, and today most are still used for this purpose,” said the dean. The Deanery overlooks the cathedral and Bishop’s Palace. It is home to the dean and his wife, although the rear of the property has been put to functional use as the cathedral office. A strip of the garden had been dug up for the installation of power cables that would increase electricity capacity and provide broadband. “We do live in the 21st century,” said the dean. Born only a few miles away at Llandeloy, he has known the cathedral all his life and as an archaeologist and churchman has a deep love of it. He has served two spells at the cathedral, the first time in the 1970s, and he has been dean for almost 11 years. Read more


    On Holy Ground

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    By Anita Woodwell

    By Anita Woodwell

    Guided prayer is one of the main tools of spiritual direction and a popular focus for many retreats. Based on the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola, its aim is to help people make good choices that enable them to live in freedom before God. Prayerful reading of the scriptures and helping to interpret readers’ reactions (which can be revealing) are its basic methods. This book explains the ‘nuts and bolts’ of this key aspect of spiritual direction. Read review

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