LIFE IN A CONVENT
a film about nuns with former Big Brother star Anna Nolan proved
to be a fascinating experience for the Inside Out team.
started just minutes after arriving at Teesside Airport..."Can I
have your autograph, please. It’s for my little sister."
we were tucking into meat and two veg and Anna’s autograph hunters
had spotted their prey.
may be a couple of years since the ground-breaking first series
of Big Brother but clearly its celebrity lingers.
remember Anna Nolan. The former nun. The one with the guitar.
one who’s built up a successful career for herself as a television
remember her too.
Big Sister Anna|
willingly signs autographs, talks happily about her time in that
house and gives a cheery wave when greeted with a quizzical look.
all, some obviously recognise the face but can’t quite put a name
was on her way to Whitby to see for herself how convent life has
changed since she left ten years ago.
if you want to see what the life of a nun is like, then Whitby has
to be the place to do it.
and the film crew were invited into a religious order of Orthodox
contemplates life inside a convent and decides it's not for
monastery here has just two members who keep themselves locked away
from the outside world.
they do have a poodle for company if they find time between up to
ten hours a day of praying.
warmed to the nuns. And, it has to be said, they warmed to her.
chatted, she listened and was able to give an insiders insight into
this unusual world which few see.
filming started there was a chance to have her first taste of Whitby
fish and chips, stroll along the harbour walls and contemplate her
life outside of two closed institutions.
she did tell me that both the Big Brother house and her own convent
would have willingly allowed her to leave - when she was ready.
inside the convent was a strange experience for Anna.
did I think when I left ten years ago that I'd be inside a
odd but it kind of reminds me of being back in the Big Brother house.
one of the women inside this place hasn't left for 50 years".
did her time back inside Whitby’s convents make her change her mind?
she be tempted to hide under the habit again?
though I perhaps understand better than others why they've chosen
this way of life, I could never do it again. It's not for me"
Holy Order of the Paraclete is an Anglican religious community with
Orthodox nuns of Whitby are looking for new recruits|
Lynn is a novice who has taken ten years to decide about her vocation
as a nun.
"It's like getting engaged and married. You're looking for
something and it's fulfilling when it comes along. It gels and feels
well as their religious and teaching duties, the nuns find time
like to watch video films on Friday nights - anything with a murder
in it is a favourite!
Greek Orthodox convent in Whitby has only two nuns, and has
a particularly strict regime.
Orthodox nuns wear a very simple all-black outfit with a veil.
in Whitby used to look at us in a funny way but now they've got
used to us and they say hello" says Mother Hilda.
nuns spend much of the day in quiet prayer in their church.|
fasting weeks, the nuns have a very austere regime with up to ten
hours of prayer.
rest of the time is taken up with translation, painting icons, cooking
and tending to the garden.
nun has a cell where she works alone, sometimes on tapestries, drawings
nuns have no television, radio or CD players.
for them that they've not been exposed to the joys of Big Brother,
Pop Idol or Eastenders!
for new recruits
Whitby nuns would love to recruit new members to their order.
are sad about the lack of recruits but firmly believe that getting
the correct person is more important than recruiting just anyone.
right person will stay" says Mother Hilda who is now getting
on in years.
only two nuns, the convent is one of the smallest in England.