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Tea party at St Wilfrid’s Priory, OSJCT, West Sussex

‘It’s all about the interaction’

Arundel, 5 November 2019

The Priory garden

Staff, family and volunteers came together this week for a splendid pre-Christmas tea for the Home’s residents. Delicious sandwiches and cakes were handed round, and excellent entertainment was provided by a professional singer who encouraged everyone to sing along. Manager Rachel Staker says: “It’s all about the interaction, making a difference in someone’s life.”

Manager Rachel Staker

Manager Rachel StakerActivities coordinator Rosie Beller explained that she arranges five activities each day, based on what the residents like – there may be a seasonal theme, or talks, or art classes or singing. A fun current project is ‘incredible eggs’ – where a company sends six duck eggs in an incubator and the residents get involved, help them hatch and feed, watch them play in a little pool. After 10 days they go off to the duck farm. “We also have a therapy dog, and the residents love baking, so if they can’t get downstairs to the kitchen, I take a portable oven up to them. We also have lovely walks in our garden. They are popular and our residents can watch how it changes through the year.”

Margaret, a volunteer primary school teacher whose mother was cared for at St Wilfrid’s, takes a poetry group each week: “The group has their favourites, especially childhood ones such as A.A.Milne. Sometimes we have a serious theme, but often not – we follow people’s interests.”

Rosie and Margaret

St Wilfrid’s is an OSJCT Home (Orders of St John Homes Care Trust) in a castle – it is part of the Grade II castle complex at Arundel. Its residents are cared for by a professional, caring team.  

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The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.