It’s a tranquil setting not far from Birmingham city centre but a million miles away from the hustle and bustle. Pilgrims are invited to stroll around the Convent and marvel at the painstakingly restored interiors with their glowing colours, hand painted tiles and ornate carvings. A stunning cloister is lined with an historical exhibition detailing the early benefactors of St Mary’s, including John Hardman and John Talbot the 16th Earl of Shrewsbury; they both wanted to address poverty in Birmingham. The cloister overlooks a peaceful garden offering a place for meditation.
In a letter written in 1841 Catherine McAuley gave a description of the Convent Chapel: “The stained glass and the ceiling of the Chapel, with the word “Mercy” at least one hundred times in varied characters, are very beautiful. It may be said that the Sisters are surrounded with Mercy.”