Nuns who helped start school set to leave convent

END OF AN ERA: Oaklands, Leyland - picture supplied by Brigfords.
END OF AN ERA: Oaklands, Leyland - picture supplied by Brigfords.
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It is the end of an era as a much-loved group of nuns reluctantly leave their convent.

The nuns first came to Moss Lane, Leyland in 1948 and over the last 68 years the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions helped set up St Catherine’s RC Primary School in Farington, taught thousands of children and helped the community.

Approximately 135 nuns have lived in the Oaklands convent over the years, but due to dwindling numbers and the age and size of the property the last two remaining nuns – Sister Maria and Sister Margaret who also taught at St Catherine’s – are moving out in February.

Bridgfords Estate Agents say the five-bedroom house has been on the market for nine months but an offer has just been made for the property, which was on the market for £495,000.

Sister Maria says she is sad to be leaving but glad the new owner is not planning on bulldozing the 19th century building.

She said: “We are sad to leave but it is a big building, we are getting older and it is becoming harder to maintain.

“We were concerned about what would happen to the building. But we have been told that the person intending to buy the property is keen to keep the building intact.”

The estate agents said it would be difficult to get planning permission to demolish the property and build new houses due to the close proximity to the M6 motorway and a number of protected oak trees on the site.

And Sister Maria says a leaving mass will be held at St Mary’s RC church, Broadfield Walk, Leyland at 7pm on Friday February 5.

She said: “Some of the old Sister are coming back for the mass. It will be nice but it will be sad.”