This week Janet Walden and I paid a visit to the Convent grounds in Lionel Road. The old Convent building has been used as a Youth Centre for the Diocese for many years and during that time it has been known as Walsingham House. Unfortunately we did not have access to the building as no one was in residence but we did the grounds and the main reason for our visit the small cemetery at the far corner.
I must say the atmosphere reminded me of my visit to Glastonbury Abbey where despite being surrounded by busy roads and town as soon as you step through to the Abbey grounds it was as if someone had switched off the sound. Here on Canvey the Convent is very close to the town centre with a very busy road nearby and of course St Joseph’s school is right next door. The children were on break time and you could hear the sound of children enjoying the sun but it did not detract from the peace of the site.
It was quite humbling when we found the cemetery where I would think at some point the crosses have been removed from the individual graves and place along the back fence. The area is surrounded by shrub land on two sides, the Convent grounds on one and the school on the other.
I would like to thank Sister Barbara, a Trustee at the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy, who arranged for us to have permission to visit the site.