UK: TV Nun’s 70th jubilee gift to charity celebrating 70 years

Celebrating her 70th jubilee Sr Wendy Beckett is supporting ACN in its 70th anniversary (© Aid to the Church in Need)
Celebrating her 70th jubilee Sr Wendy Beckett is supporting ACN in its 70th anniversary (© Aid to the Church in Need)

Sister Wendy, 87, who achieved international acclaim in the 1990s with her art documentary series, gave the charity the money from the proceeds of an eighteenth-century porcelain figurine she received as a gift long ago and money from an advance on a book.

Sister Wendy, a long-time supporter of Aid to the Church in Need, said: “This charity means a great deal to me and mostly I can just support it with my prayers.”


“Receiving the money and getting permission from the prioress to give it was my best jubilee present.


“I’m very conscious of how generous it is of her, so it is really the Carmel who gives it to Aid to the Church in Need, not me.”

She added: “What makes this so moving to me is that it is ACN’s 70th anniversary also.”

Aid to the Church in Need was founded in 1947 by the Dutch Norbertine priest Fr Werenfried van Straaten to provide both material and spiritual aid for refugees who were fleeing Communism in Eastern Europe.

Sister Wendy, who is now a hermit under the protection of the Carmelite community in Quidenham, Norfolk, entered religious life on the 2nd February the same year.

She went on to explain why she has been a long-standing supporter of Aid to the Church in Need.

Sister Wendy said: “From the first, I was struck that this was what I would call a central charity.

“Here is our beloved Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, poor and suffering in so many places.

“What greater charity than to come to His aid?”

Describing the figurine sold to raise funds for ACN, Sister Wendy stated: “It was one of the first beautiful things I was ever given.

“It was very small, a piece of Chelsea porcelain, what they call ‘Girl in the Swing’ type…

“She was delightful with her porcelain flowers and her little motto of ‘Love is All’.”

The rest of the funds came from her new book, The Art of Lent: A Painting a Day from Ash Wednesday to Easter, which is being prepared for publication at the end of this year in time for Lent 2018.

It will draw on images and reflections from four small books Sister Wendy wrote in the mid-1990s on peace, love, joy, and silence.

Sister Wendy said: “The reproductions in those books are beautiful and over the years I’ve had many letters about them, often lamenting that they were now out of print.”

Asked for her prayer intention this Lent, Sister Wendy replied: “My great intention always is ‘Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’.


“Our Blessed Lord knows how ardently we long for people to love one another and the world to be at peace. Our prayer is all we can do to bring about this Kingdom of Heaven.


“So that’s the prayer I offer for myself and ACN: May God achieve completely what He longs to achieve, may we never block Him, may He be all in all.”