Our Lady Star of the Sea

The Sisters of Mercy


The Mercy Cross

Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

The Sisters of Mercy

 The Sisters who live at the Mercy Convent, Tilbury, are Sister Deborah, Sister Teresa, Sister Christine and Sister Paula. Their ministries are shown below.

To see a larger diagram of the above please click here

Contact Details

Address: Convent of Mercy, Malta Rd, Tilbury RM187BU

Tel: 01375 856965

E-Mail: See contact box at bottom of the page

A brief history of the Sisters of Mercy at Tilbury 

When Catherine Mcauley founded the Sisters of Mercy in Dublin in 1831, the three  traditional vows of poverty, chastity and obedience were expanded to include a fourth: to serve the sick, poor and ignorant.

 On January 8th 1905 the Sisters of Mercy first came to the Parish of Our Lady Star of the Sea, moving into a small house in Dock Road just opposite the school.   They started work, teaching in the school, the next day.   Within eight months there were 285 children on the school roll, although school attendance could be interrupted by pea picking in Essex and hop picking in Kent.

 By 1909 a convent had been built in Malta Road, and it was furnished by nuns bringing all manner of furniture, crockery and even fruit on the train from Liverpool Street.   When the parish became part of the new Diocese of Westminster in 1918, there was some uncertainty as to the future status of the Convent of Mercy in Tilbury, which finally became an Independent House in 1923.   The Sisters agreed to take on the debt of the building costs of the convent and continued their work in the school and in the community at large, where there was considerable poverty.   The Sisters were known to visit families carrying bread and other foods hidden in the large sleeves of their habits.

 When the schoolchildren were evacuated during the Second World War, first to Norfolk and then to Wiltshire, many of the Sisters went with them, returning to Tilbury only when the children themselves came back to their families.

 In July 1952 the Sisters opened a Branch House in Thorpe Bay, at the prompting of Bishop Andrew Beck.   It became both a rest home for ladies and a holiday home for the Sisters.   It finally closed at the end of 1963.

 In the early nineteen sixties, a national reorganisation of the Sisters of Mercy was planned, and the Tilbury Sisters initially joined the Westminster Union, before returning to the Brentwood Diocese.   By the end of the nineteen sixties a new group was formed, the Federation of the Sisters of Mercy, and the Tilbury Convent joined this federation and moved into a period of greater stability.   In 1983, the Sisters of Mercy in Tilbury voted to become part of the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy.

 During the 2005 celebrations marking the centenary of the Sisters of Mercy's first arrival in Tilbury, a video of the life of their founder, Catherine McAuley, was shown at a big social in St. Joseph's Hall.   At this time, the Sisters arranged to have the East side windows of the Parish Church restored.

 Although the Sisters no longer teach full-time in the parish school, they continue to visit parishioners in their homes, in sheltered accommodation and in hospital and hospice.   They work with refugees and seamen and support all people in the parish as the need arises.

  • 96 Dock Rd
  • Tilbury
  • Essex
  • RM18 7BT

01375 842309
Email Us