Nuns of Hull

‘Nuns of Hull’ was inspired by the work of Sister Anna and Sister Josie of St Stephen’s Church on Greatfield Estate in East Hull. The project is about the stories and memories from women, who were instrumental in establishing many of the educational and welfare infrastructures that we see in Hull today, as well as contributing to key parts of the development in the city.

Although the popular term ‘nun’ is widely used to refer to women who have professed the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, within Roman Catholicism there is a difference between a ’nun’ and a ‘sister’. Generally, a ‘nun’ lives a contemplative life in a cloistered (or enclosed) environment, whereas a ‘sister’ lives, ministers, and prays out in the world. They also take slightly different vows. The more correct term therefore is ‘women religious’.

Little is known about Hull’s 160-year history of female pioneers of education and women who dedicated their lives to an active vocation of prayer and service to others, beginning with the arrival in Hull of five Irish Sisters of Mercy in 1857. Today, as the number of nuns dwindles, and before memories are lost to time, here are a few voices and faces of Hull’s women religious.

There have been three orders based in Hull; The Sisters of Mercy, The Congregation of Jesus and The Daughters of Charity.

Part of Untold Hull

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