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Bishop Alan opens Little JeM’s nursery in Felixstowe

Bishop Alan Hopes, the Mayor of Felixstowe, together with the Religious of Jesus and Mary, nursery staff and old friends, celebrated the opening of the Little JeM’s Nursery.

“We need to turn the clock back to 2020, the Year of Covid,” explains Carol Charles. “The nursery in our Convent, which had many years ago been run by the Religious of Jesus and Mary, and was now being run by Mrs Nora Bloomer, closed. As a community and in the spirit of the order, we began to look to the future. Although the community is an older one, we decided that rather than look inward, we would once again seek how best we might serve the wider community.”

There was a desire to see Catholic education return to Felixstowe, even in a very small nursery. There was an obvious growing need for nurseries in Felixstowe, and this encouraged us to discern if this was indeed the way forward. The community contacted the local council, which informed them that many nurseries had now closed, and that was enough.

The community wanted to do a little more to encourage young people to follow the teaching of Pope Francis inLaudato si; to really engage with the environment and climate. It wanted to build a nursery with a near zero carbon footprint, with plenty of outside space for the children to explore coupled with sustainable heating and natural wooden floors. The nursery is not for profit. It aims to support those who might not normally be able to attend such a nursery.

The nursery was finally opened on October 7. It had started in January 2022 with five small children and finished the academic year with 20 children. It started again in September with 24 children and more will be joining in January.

“We thank God,” writes Carol, “for giving us the vision, the insight and the determination to be able to establish and promote this wonderful new venture.”

Pictured above is Bishop Alan Hopes cutting the ribbon of the nursery in Felixstowe.