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Obituary for Sr Nancye

Nancye Ellen Wilson was born in December 1917 in a very English part of Christ Church, New Zealand. After completing her school education she went on to Christchurch Training College where she gained her teaching certificate. She then went up to Canterbury College University, New Zealand to read Philosophy and was awarded a BA and later an MA. Her thesis, published in 1945, is still available on line; covers training in industry, with special reference to the plight of female employees in the clothing trade in Christchurch, New Zealand. Nancye went on to study with the Board of Theological Studies in the Church of the Province of New Zealand where she gained a Licentiate in Theology. After her studies Nancye went on to teach in a Primary School in New Zealand for approximately 5 years but decided this was not for her. She then went into Vocational Guidance Mentoring, where she remained for a couple years.

It was during this time that Nancye again felt the recurring call to become a missionary. She responded by first spending 2 years at the Union Normal School in Canton, China, and then embarked on an extremely successful teaching career at the Hong Kong Girl’s School. By now she had learnt Cantonese and taught all the RE in the school of 400 students, took Baptism and Confirmation classes and led services in the school Chapel.

For some time Nancye had felt the pull of the Religious life and on coming to England was accepted into OHP in September l96O. She was Clothed Novice in January 1961 with Sisters Birgit and Hilary and made her life Profession in June 1963. Almost immediately after Life Profession, Nancye went to the OHP Mission Compound in Mampong, Ghana, where she taught Religious Education and English whilst also organising Teaching Practice at Mampong Training College for 3 years. She subsequently became Principal of the College where she remained until 1975 when she returned to England.

When Nancye left Ghana she took complete change of Ministry. She re-trained as a Hospital Chaplain at Southampton General Hospital and at St. Luke’s Hospice Sheffield. She then moved to the OHP London House whilst taking up the position of Assistant Chaplain to St. Mary’s Hospital and their Terminal Care Centre in Bayswater.

After almost 10 years at St. Oswald’s in 1992, Nancye returned to St.Hilda’s Priory as Guest Sister and Link Sister to the Infirmary. It wasn’t until 2005 that Nancye became a resident in the Priory Infirmary. Nancye always remained a faithful member of our Sunday morning Chapel congregation, lovingly escorted by Sister Patricia.

Nancye was self-disciplined and a bit of a disciplinarian; everything had to be done well. She was also modest and a good example. She was ramrod straight and when we began to wear secular clothes she was always smart and immaculately dressed. Nancye was very caring in her dealings with Students and Guests; she was definitely a people person.

What a very rich and diverse vocational life Nancye lived. But life itself is a mystery, and as we know there is something profoundly challenging, living out a life of faith. We cannot live without God, but to live in obedience to him, is always to be tested, in sickness and in health. We give God thanks for her life amongst us, for the many gifts she shared with us and for the privilege of calling her our Sister.

Posted On: 31/03/2015

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