Convent closure is the end of an era

The Convent of Mercy in Alnwick
The Convent of Mercy in Alnwick

Alnwick’s St Mary’s Convent closed yesterday, having been part of the town for more than 120 years.

The Institute of Our Lady of Mercy opted to shut its doors due to the dwindling number of sisters and their increasing need for care.

The six religious sisters that were based in Alnwick have been transferred to the Institute’s other convents, while four members of staff lost their jobs. The Institute owns the building on Bailiffgate and plans to market it.

The Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle, as well as the sisters and other guests, attended a Mass of Thanksgiving on September 21.

A petition to try to save the convent from closure was signed by more than 250 people from around the world.