On 6 November 1970 Mother Teresa visited Rosslyn House Finishing School in Weybridge – a finishing school run by nuns – for a party attended by many Surrey Co-Workers and their children.
Susie Kerr experienced Mother Teresa’s work in the Shishu Bhavan home for abandoned babies. This was through her mother (Fey Bone), who became actively involved with Mother Teresa’s work when living in Calcutta. Later, Fey became chairman for the Surrey Co-Worker and set up ‘Teresa’s Boutique’, a charity shop in Cobham.
My father used to drive Mother Teresa around when she was in Surrey and they went to a finishing school in Surrey. Oof course it was all quite pucker. Mother Teresa came to visit for lunch and of course they sit down for lunch and the first course is soup and bread, so this is what Mother Teresa is used to eating – and that would be it. She sits down, she says grace, she breaks her bread into her soup, she has her soup and that’s it. But then along comes another course… She’s sitting next to my mother – my mother was as tiny as she was – she kept going ‘Fey, I really can’t eat this!’ and kept putting her food onto my mother’s plate because she really couldn’t eat any more.
Heather Bamberger was part of one of the very first Co-Worker groups in Surrey and first met Mother Teresa when she visited.
It was a finishing school that was so grand, it was unbelievable. We were mortified with the food that was there, mortified. We couldn’t believe that they could present that much. And Mother Teresa said Don’t worry! God has seen what’s been served to you – enjoy it!
Mother Teresa visited St John the Baptist School, Woking on 3 November 1970 to thank the school for funds they had raised for her work. Bishop David Cashman, then Bishop of Arundel & Brighton was there also. A small group of staff and students stayed after school time to welcome her.
Melanie Kibblewhite was a pupil at the time:
A few of us were asked if we’d like to meet someone very special who was dropping in. We had no idea who it was going to be. I remember the occasion well – I think I was 12 and I am now 58! I can remember talking to her but can’t remember the conversation sadly. I certainly knew I was in the presence of someone very special but at 12 I wish I’d known then what I do now!
Mother Teresa visited Notre Dame Convent School in Cobham to speak to the Junior school children. Her wealth of experience in teaching must have helped her communicate her message. Sister Faith remembers…
She came in and spoke to the Junior school about her work in Calcutta. She had to sit on edge of the stage as there was flooding, and she said she really didn’t mind as she was used to things like flooding
I wanted to help and I know I started to make squares, but I was not very good and it and was painfully slow. After a few weeks the number of squares had started to grow, and it was suggested someone should sew the squares together – which seemed much more up my street – so I took them home and sewed them into blankets. I remember this was not as easy as it seemed because not all the squares were the size they should have been! I can remember being told that Mother Theresa was coming to the area and was paying a quick visit to the school on her way to another appointment.
We all gathered in the school hall and stood in form lines just like we did for assembly every morning. I was told I had been chosen, with one other girl I think, to go up on to the stage to give the finished blankets to Mother Teresa . I was nervous but felt extremely honoured . I remember how small she seemed, and she was calm and gentle – it was such a special day I have never forgotten. Now she is on her way to sainthood as the Church and the world has recognised her human brilliance, however I realised at the time just what a special gift it was to have met her, and how fortunate I was. It is lovely that this recognition has been made – and that before long she will be Saint Mother Teresa.”