top of page

Rest in Peace


Born 9th September 1927
Professed 24th February 1955
Died 5th October 2023

Sister Hilda Tsepiso CHN
Lesotho Province 

Professed December 1964

Died 22 September 2023
96 Years old

sr hilda tsepiso_edited_edited.jpg
hilda tsepiso.jpg


Born 23rd November 1944
Professed 28th September 1979
Died 22 August 2023

With sadness we announce the death of Sister Rosemary CHN who died on Tuesday 22nd August 2023 in the 44th year of her Profession. May she Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory. 


Born 2nd March 1935
Professed 31st August 1959
Died 5th January 2023

Jean was born on 2nd March 1935 in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs.  She had 3 brothers who all married and had several children so Jean had lots of nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.   They are a close family and  Jean became  the  ‘Matriarch’ after her mother died.  Her youngest brother, Peter lives in Australia – Jean visited him and his family there 2 or 3 times and more recently had a zoom conversation with him every few weeks.

Jean went to the local primary school  and then won a scholarship to St Mary and St Anne’s School in Abbots Bromley where she was a boarder.  From there she went to Birmingham University to read history – she left with a degree and did a year’s teaching diploma after which she joined The Community of the Holy Name  at the convent in Malvern in in 1956/7.

Jean was professed as a sister in 1959 and took her final vows in 1962.  The Community was invited to Lesotho by the then bishop (John Maund) and Jean was among the 1st group of sisters to set sail on their ‘big adventure’ later that year.  It was quite a challenge and a totally different culture but Jean thrived on it and learned the language (she would sometimes lapse into Sesotho in her latter years!) and loved the place and the Masotho sisters.  She was cook, gardener, wafer bakery minion  and Novice Guardian (perhaps not all at the same time)  until 1968 when she returned to the UK and joined the chaplaincy team at Newcastle University.  In 1973 she went back to Lesotho, first to Leribe and then to Maseru where she became Principal of St Catherine’s College (until  1984.)

Jean was very sad to leave Lesotho – but always gave herself wholeheartedly to whatever God was asking of her.  She was housekeeper at the convent in Malvern for a short time, then Warden of the Retreat House in Chester (1985-90).    In 1990 CHN moved from Malvern to Derby and Jean became  Assistant Superior.  In 1994 she was elected Provincial Superior and had 2 terms of office (until 2004).  During this time she lived at the convent in Derby and became  a lay canon of Derby Cathedral.  When she finished her 2nd term of office as Superior, she had some months of sabbatical in Australia and America.  She paid a brief return visit to Lesotho in 2005-6 as they had asked for an  English  sister to come and give them some help and advice.

The Community has been involved in various aspects of mission over the years.  Jean  worked in parishes in Stepney in the 60’s, in Lambeth (based at Lambeth Palace) in the 00’s and in Manchester 2013 – 17.  Here she was involved in St Chrysostom’s Church and at the Cathedral – and set up a reading group for people with early-onset dementia in conjunction with one of the local day centres. She also befriended and supported a young lady (from Cameroon) who was seeking asylum here.  Jean enjoyed preaching and leading retreats and several people came to see her for ‘spiritual accompaniment’

Jean had a great love for people and for justice.  She was a very keen member of Amnesty International, joining local groups wherever she was, mainly  focussing  on their Burma campaigning.  She was an active demonstrator – against homelessness in the 70’s and anti-fracking more recently.  She was highly motivated politically and showed great care and concern for the underprivileged.

When the  community moved to Hessle in June 2021,  Jean was already showing signs of dementia but was still able to enjoy the garden here and would spend hours happily sweeping up leaves. She also enjoyed reading and going for little walks ‘to explore the neighbourhood’.   She was diagnosed with mixed dementia in December 2022, spent 2 weeks in hospital after a fall and then moved into a care home where she  died very peacefully on 5th January 2023.   Her funeral (held in All Saints Church, Hessle as the chapel at Quarry Bank was too small  to accommodate her many friends and relations) was a real celebration of her life.  One of her former students at St Catherine’s did a Bible reading in Sesotho

We  miss Jean enormously and thank God for great contribution to our community, for her friendship, her  lightness of touch and her sense of fun.

Born 3rd April 1934
Professed 2nd February 1958
Died 25th December 2022

Sister Brenda was born in Birmingham on 3rd April 1934, the youngest of 6 children (3 girls and 3 boys). When she was still a baby the family moved to Anstey, a village in Leicestershire which is now regarded as the 'Gateway to Charnwood Forest.'  it was there that Brenda's love of the countryside, its flora and fauna and of gardening began.  Brenda's mother died when she was only 10 - very distressing for her - and not long after that the family moved to Coventry.

In Coventry the family worshipped at St John's church and Brenda made some lifelong friends there .  After leaving school, Brenda trained as a nursery nurse.  she joined the Community of the Holy

Name at Malvern in 1955 and was professed in 1958. In Malvern her early years were spent working in the kitchen or looking after the hens and she had time at our Retreat Houses in Chester and St Albans. in 1969 she went to South Africa and worked in a children's home in Johannesburg and then at the Convent in Leribe returning to the UK in 1973. The next 10 years saw her doing retreat house work again, including at the community's new venture in Cardiff. She helped look after our guest house in Malvern, was also a very good laundry sister and started to become a serious gardener. she had another short spell in Lesotho and Zululand finally returning to the UK in 1985. 

In 1990 the Community moved to Derby and Brenda made plans for the new garden, having developed her horticulture skills over the years. She worked alongside a trained gardener and a volunteer. She attended Breadsall Church on Sundays, cycling there and making friends among the congregation. She looked after the sisters' graves in Breadsall Churchyard, joined the Gardening Club in the village and all her contributions were much appreciated. 

Brenda loved animals, books, music and charity shops. she took over the care of several generations of convent cats and helped them live well and happily into old age. For several years she was the community librarian and took great delight purchasing now books (Although quite often she purchased books mainly to her tastes!) She had a care and concern for people who were marginalised and struggling with life. 

Brenda had various health problems and surgeries over the years but was always quite philosophical about them. She began to be unwell in the summer of 2021 shortly after moving to Hessle and was in and out of hospital over the next 2 or 3 months. She still enjoyed wondering around the garden and giving advice on the purchase and positioning of plants, but was getting frailer and eating very little due to her illnesses. In June 2022 the GP set up end of life care but feisty Brenda defied the odds and recovered...she knew that her health problems were terminal and she really wanted to die at home. She was very appreciative of the care given by both staff and sisters. Unfortunately her care needs became more than could be managed at home safely so she moved into Emmanuel House just around the corner where she was for just 10 days dying peacefully on Christmas morning. Thanks be to God for her life and her many gifts. 

Born 17th April 1924
Professed 24th February 1955
Died 6th April 2022

Marjorie Jean was born in 1924 and spent her early years in East Finchley,  London.  She was an only child and moved with her parents to Evesham where they set up a market gardening business and she began her great love and plants and all things agricultural and horticultural.


She wanted to study and  enrolled herself at Queen Mary College, London (where she found the cheapest course – Biology/science/maths – we think).  The college was evacuated to Cambridge during the war.  She was called to do ‘war work’ in aircraft manufacturing and became adept with engineering plans – which proved useful in later years.  She always loved diagrams and maps. She also trained as a teacher.


She joined CHN in the early 1950’s and was professed in 1955. Initially her time at the convent in Malvern was spent working in the kitchen, looking after the hens and a brief spell at the Home of the Good Shepherd (where we cared for girls who were on probation).

MJ was always a bit of a pioneer -  in 1959 CHN was invited to Liberia to work alongside the American Holy Cross Fathers and she was one of the first group to  travel there.  She spent most of her time teaching but also went ‘on trek’ to remote villages.  After 2 years she returned to the UK and worked briefly at St Albans Retreat House.   In 1962 CHN were invited to Basutoland (now Lesotho) initially to live alongside a small group of Basuto sisters and integrate with them.  Again MJ was among the 1st group who went there and worked wonders in the garden, initiating an irrigation project.  After 5 years she came back to England and taught at St James’ School West Malvern until 1970.


Later that year MJ returned to Lesotho to begin what was to be her ’life’s work’. At the Convent in Leribe she became the Bursar,  responsible for finances and buildings.  She pioneered the Leribe Craft Centre (which is still in existence today), encouraging local women weaving with mohair and selling their goods –  involving and supporting handicapped workers in the project. She also travelled far and wide with Fr Brown (the community’s chaplain) to find new outlets for their wares.  This ‘business enterprise’  began to flourish.


Later MJ became the Principal of St Mary’s Home Economics School in Leribe and continued there until 1995 when she came back to England.  She was given a great send-off and a lovely hand-woven banner  ‘Farewell Lesotho - 33 years’.

Sr Marjorie Jean leaving africa - c.jpg

Sister Marjorie Jean with her farewell banner

By this time the convent had moved to Derby where she became the assistant bursar – spending a lot of her time fixing things, often in a rather Heath-Robinson way.

By now MJ was in her 70’s but the pioneering spirit had not left her and she and Sister Judith were the first sisters to set up house on the Welland estate in Peterborough – where they were involved in the local church and in the local community.  In addition MJ gardened and grew a lot of vegetables.  After 5 years there she moved to the community’s house in Keswick where she endeared herself to the locals and joined an art group where yet another talent was able to flourish.


The Keswick house closed in 2009  and the sisters returned to Derby.  MJ, now well in her 80’s, hosted the meetings of the Julian group which met at the convent.   She joined several art groups in nearby villages and had a weekly session teaching an elderly lady to draw and paint.  She also went to  Keep Fit classes and was an intrepid traveller round Derbyshire with her bus pass as she was around the Lake District when in Keswick.


Last year CHN moved to Hessle.  Like most of us MJ was excited, though maybe slightly apprehensive,  about the move and she  would exercise, walking  round the perimeter of the house on her ‘pusher’, several times a day, viewing the garden with her critical eye as she went.  Gradually her health began to fail – angina, loss of hearing and sight, then mobility – she began to say ‘All I can do now is to pray’ which of course she did.   I hope she could also look back over her life and ministry with great thanksgiving.  She has touched the lives of so many people, both in this country and in Africa – we have had many letters in appreciation of her – even in her 90’s people enjoyed her conversations, her encouraging words her ‘wicked’ sense of humour and her lively personality, her extensive breadth of knowledge and awareness of the world around her.  Hers was a full and rewarding life.


May she rest in Peace – and rise in Glory.


Born 7th July 1929

Professed 2nd October 1964

Died 20th February 2022

Sister Vivienne Joy died peacefully on 20th February. She had moved into a care home in Hessle in the summer of 2020 when the Community relocated to Hessle.   She was 92 and had been very active well into her 80’s but a series of strokes and diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease really slowed her down, mentally and physically.  She remained cheerful in spite of the frustrations of old age and disability and increasing fragility.

sr vivienne joy.jpg

VJ (as she was always known in community) was born in Oxford. Her family  moved to Abingdon when she was 4 or 5 and that was ‘home’ from then on.  She was not too happy when a new baby came along but VJ and her ‘little’ bother Norman became great friends.    VJ went to the local primary school and then to St Helen and St Katherine’s School in Abingdon – a convent school run by Anglican sisters.  She has kept in contact with the school over many years. She says that  they were given ‘a very healthy approach to life and faith – religion was about daily life, not staying in the sanctuary’.

 VJ went to on Whitelands College to  train as a teacher and then to Kings College to do a theology degree. She taught general science in a secondary modern school, then biology in a high school and finally went back to her own school as Senior Biologist.

Later VJ did a diploma in Experimental Educational Psychology at Cambridge.   After that she was a novice at the Community of St Mary the Virgin at Wantage for a short time. She joined the Community of the Holy Name at Malvern Link in 1961 and was professed as a sister in 1964.  During her many years in Community VJ moved around a fair bit to different parts of the country where we had smaller ‘branch’ houses’ - Chester, Newcastle, Basingstoke, Nottingham and Oakham. She worked as a hospital and university chaplain as well as being involved in parish ministry. She was a good preacher and led many groups on prayer. She wrote interesting theological articles and always enjoyed reading and study.

She spent 2 years with our sisters in Lesotho where she was on the staff of St Catherine’s College (teacher training).   She borrowed the bishop’s horse on her days off to explore the environs.

VJ always tried to have some work in the garden and loved having an allotment. She was very knowledgeable about plants. The allotment was frequently her salvation.

She had a wonderful sense of humour and could keep us entertained for ages with anecdotes from her childhood and beyond.  She had a real gift of words and has left behind a 3 volume life story, all beautifully hand-written and interspersed with photographs.

VJ had a very full address book -  which was rather out of date!    The Community received some lovely cards and letters about her.  The son of one of her college friends wrote that VJ ‘radiated the peace, joy and love of someone who had found their true vocation.’  She brought many gifts to our community and we give thanks that she is now free of her frailties and has met her Lord face to face.


Her funeral was on Wednesday 16th March at Quarry Bank followed by burial at Tranby Lane Cemetery, Kirk Ella. 

May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

bottom of page