Hotspot 7. Fairacres Convent
Convent is the Anglican Convent of the Incarnation; the nuns are the Community
of the Sisters of the Love of God. This is an enclosed contemplative order
devoted to silence, solitary prayer and study on the one hand, and corporate
work and worship on the other, so as "to discover the sacramental quality
of every moment". Work includes hospitality and publishing, through
the SLG Press (Fax 01865 790860).
The order was founded in 1906 by Father George Seymour Hollings, of the Society of St John the Evangelist (then based in Marston Street east of the Iffley Road). At the time, Anglicans had mixed feelings about nuns, and the early years required courage. The sisters lived first in Leopold Street and then in the Cowley Road; in 1911 they rented Fairacres, a Victorian house with large gardens corresponding to a plot on the 1830 Iffley Inclosure map ("No.9 Samuel Dewe's Devisees"); in 1915, they bought it and in 1922 were able to afford a large additional building and a chapel. There have been more changes since, but the old house survives and so does its garden which, under private ownership, would almost certainly have gone for development.
Neighbouring Fairacres Road was built from 1891.