Inner-City's Sisters of Mercy Are Driven out by the Thugs

Daily Mail (London), April 25, 1997 | Go to article overview

Inner-City's Sisters of Mercy Are Driven out by the Thugs


Byline: ROGER SCOTT

FOR more than 70 years the nuns toiled to help the poor of an inner-city suburb.

But now thugs and vandals are driving the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul out of their convent in the heart of the run-down area.

Even with a 12ft fence surrounding the property, the four remaining sisters say they no longer feel safe in Grangetown, Middlesbrough. They plan to relocate to a safer part of town, from where they will continue their good work.

The order is the last of a succession of churches or religious groups which have withdrawn their clergy from the front line of the battle to save souls on the streets of Grangetown.

Sister Joseph, the convent's mother superior, said yesterday: `We are anxious about the safety here.

`Two of the sisters are retired. This is a lovely house and they thought they would have ended their days here because it is ideal. Unfortunately, it didn't work out like that.

`We are upset about going as we have many dear friends here. But we will continue to serve them and work in the community. We have no intention of abandoning them.'

A similar pledge came from Captain Tony Martin of the Salvation Army. He lives in another part of Middlesbrough after his predecessor was driven from his Grangetown home by repeated attacks by yobs but still conducts two Sunday services in the army's Grangetown citadel. …

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