St Mary's Convent boarding and day school at Berwick upon Tweed is to close in July, 1983, the Major Superiors of the Congregation of the Ursulines of Jesus announced last week.
There are 24 Sisters in the community at Berwick. The school attached to the convent has 279 pupils, of whom 121 are boarders. The parents have been given four terms' notice of the closure to enable them to find other schools for their children.
The sisters are leaving Berwick because there are fewer recruits to the congregation. Their province of Great Britain has 172 sisters to meet the needs of 14 convents. The drop in the number of younger sisters means that the congregation can no longer keep up all its work in schools.
The sisters came to Berwick in September 1 8 8 9. They established the school near the Royal Tweed Bridge. In 1950 the convent school moved three miles away to Longridge Towers.
Bishop Hugh Lindsay of Hexham and Newcastle said: "I am very sorry that a drop in the number of sisters means that the Ursulines of Jesus will be leaving Berwick after 94 years. It will be a great loss to us all, but especially to Catholics in Berwick and North Northumberland."
Sister Mary Aelred, the present Superior of St Mary's Convent said: "I am very sorry that this decision had to be taken as I am acutely aware of the loss the convent will be to our many friends, parents and pupils and we are very grateful to our priests, staff and the numerous people who have helped and supported us over the years."