Broughton Hall property, consisting of a large house, a lake and extensive grounds, was purchased by the Liverpool Community in 1925 to establish a school for girls. There were some weekly boarders who slept in the attic rooms, which would have been the servants’ quarters.
Eventually, a school was built on site which, over the years, has grown and extended and today is Broughton Hall High School/Technology College/Beacon and Leading Edge School, catering for over twelve hundred pupils ranging from 11 to 18 years.
In 1968/69 a new convent was also built on the site. This was to replace the Mother House at Mount Vernon, when that property was compulsorily purchased to make way for the new Royal Liverpool Hospital. In 1993, with decreasing numbers of Sisters, the new Convent was too big for the needs of the Community and it became a Life Health Centre and the first Baby Hospice in the country. The Community then moved back into the Hall, which, over the years, had been a Branch House, Preparatory School and a Home for elderly ladies.
In 2004 a decision was made for the Community to move from Broughton Hall and look for a smaller house in the area. This search is still continuing, together with negotiations for the future use of the Hall.
Today, there are eleven Sisters in the Community at Broughton Hall involved in various works of Mercy. Sister Barbara is missioned to Kenya and works in a project in the slum area of Nairobi. Sister Savio has been appointed to work full-time in Vocation Ministry. Other apostolates include Parish Visitation and Eucharistic Ministry. Spiritual Direction, Prayer Guidance, Counselling, Catechetics, Youth Mercy Associates, Music Ministry, Work with the Homeless and with children and ministry within the community.
Nine Sisters are of retiring age, but the work of Mercy is still continuing and reaching out to a great number of people in Liverpool and beyond. Although Community numbers have decreased we can perhaps take heart from the fact that we are almost double the number of Founding Sisters who arrived in Liverpool from Dublin on 28 August 1843. These six Sisters were greeted on the Landing Stage at the Pier Head by large crowds of people, as curiosity about the Sisters was great. They were, in fact, the first Sisters to establish a convent in Liverpool and many people called at the Convent just to have a look at them. Maybe this should give us some thought for reflection today!