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Afternoon Tea for Women



The Presentation Associates in Warsop, England having been running Afternoon Tea for Women for the past number of years. They are always a great success - the hall is decorated and white tablecloths, flowers, china crockery, dainty sandwiches, cakes and plenty of tea are the order of the day.

Last year, we invited a speaker to the Afternoon Tea. Dr. Bessa Barrett, our local GP (and Church organist at St.Teresa’s), had done a lot of work on Dementia.  Any woman coming to the tea was invited to bring along her favourite handbag. Just before she began her talk – Sr Susan asked everyone to spend a few minutes rummaging through her handbag and seeing what was in there. This generated enormous energy, laughter and sharing as the ladies began to show each other the treasures they found lurking in the bottom on their bags.

Queen Elizabeth II is said to use
her handbag to communicate
with her ladies-in-waiting 

Bessa took up from here. She spoke about the importance of a women with dementia continuing to have their handbags with them at all times – she spoke about the Queen and her handbags and the uses they were put to!  In fact, Queen Elizabeth has a system of communicating with her ladies in waiting using her handbags. She ended with reminding us that a woman’s handbag is part of her identity and to ensure that those who suffer from dementia have their handbags with them….


This year, in April 2017, the talk was on women in the Holy Land, following a pilgrimage there in February.  Fifty women from various places and denominations came together to have tea. Sr Susan did the input using some of the slides from the pilgrimage. The most important part was the reflection about the place of women in the Bible and reminding us of the women in the Holy Land today – especially those who need care. St. Martha’s House in Bethlehem was set up by a woman to do just that. The community of St. Teresa’s raised £600.00 for the centre and we were able to take the money and present it to them.

The afternoon ended with the gift of a goodie bag – with hand cream, a chocolate bag, small notebook, pen, tissues and two cards – one of Venerable Nano Nagle and one about a woman in the Bible.

Susan Rickard PBVM

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