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Funeral of Dame Mary Benedicta Scott

Funeral of Dame Mary Benedicta Scott

Today, 25th April, Feast of St Mark, was the Requiem Mass and funeral of Dame Mary Benedicta Scott, former Conventual Prioress of St Mary’s Abbey, Oulton in Staffordshire. Founded in Ghent 400 years ago this year, the community merged with Stanbrook in 2019.
Mother Benedicta died on 26th March, the Tuesday of Holy Week, at Oulton Abbey Care Home, in the 89th year of her life and the 70th of her monastic life.

Representing Stanbrook at the funeral were Abbess Anna Brennan, Dame Josephine Parkinson, Dame Benedicta White, Dame Mary Stephen Agege Agbons, and Dame Mary Peter Smith, formerly of Oulton.

Abbot David Charlesworth of Buckfast Abbey presided at the Mass and committal; concelebrants included Revd Father Simon Stephens, Chaplain of Oulton (Archdiocese of Birmingham), Revd Dom Thomas Regan of Belmont Abbey, and Abbot Geoffrey Scott, retired abbot of Douai who proclaimed the Gospel.

Chants and ordinary were in Latin and the liturgy was carefully guided by Revd Father Julian Booth of the Archdiocese of Birmingham who, in the spirit of Oulton, made everyone feel welcome.

The full church, of c. 150 people from all walks of life and of all ages, was testimony to Mother Benedicta’s generous hospitality in her lifetime.

Dame Benedicta White noted that ‘There were Old Girls from when Oulton had a boarding school; there were members of the playgroup once run by Oulton. There were the priests who represented a vaster number of the clergy whom she had welcomed over the years, Dominican sisters from Stone, and other religious. People who still come to Mass at Oulton attended, plus staff, past and present, and those now living in the Care Home that she had helped found.’
And it goes without saying that there were family and friends.

Dame Josephine summed up the impressions of those attending from Stanbrook:

‘It was moving to see so many people at Mother Benedicta’s funeral whose lives or families she had touched. They had a real sense that they and their circumstances really mattered to M. Benedicta. Speaking with warmth and affection, many highlighted her generous gift of hospitality and wry sense of humour.’

And the last word to Dame Benedicta White who had spent some years at Oulton herself:

‘All in all, it seemed to me that this occasion showed what a Benedictine life should represent – hospitality and friendship, a leading of others to God.’

From the House Chronicle for 25 April 2024.
A full account and obituary will appear in due course.