St Joseph’s Convent, Frinton-on-Sea, Essex
A year before the outbreak of World War I, the Community in Chelsea sent Sisters to establish a holiday home for Sisters in Frinton-on-Sea, Essex which was then, part of the Diocese of Westminster.
The initial location of the Convent of Mercy in Eton Road is no longer identifiable, but the stay there seems to have been short, because the Community soon moved to a more suitable house in Winchester Road, where a school was opened and a holiday home provided for Sisters. However, as a result of objections raised by the owners of the Cooper Estate, the school was discontinued from 1920.
The establishment of the Diocese of Brentwood, in 1917 and the Westminster Amalgamation of Convents of Mercy in 1923 caused the Superior General and her Council, resident in Harewood Avenue in Westminster Diocese decided to put the Convent in Frinton on the market. Its sale to the Sisters of Mercy in Brentwood in 1924 happily ensured the unbroken continuance of the presence of Mercy in this area. The building was extended the following year and a house in Pole Barn Lane was rented as a school until 1936 when a larger house in Hadleigh Road became available. The Sisters taught in the school until September, 1987 when Sr Marie, the Head Teacher, retired. The school continued under new leadership.
Early in 1987 the St Philomena’s Educational Trust was formed to maintain the smooth running of the School and to continue the high ideals set by the Sisters.
Today our main ministry is offering hospitality to visitors from several Congregations who come here on holiday. Our house, which was purchased in 1952, is adjacent to the School. We also use our chapel for prayer ministry and visit and support people in need.