SHE HAS been a leading church figure and a sparkling beacon in the spiritual life of Littlehampton’s Christian community for more than two decades.
But next week Sister Anastasia will be leaving the town for pastures new.
She has been based in the Littlehampton area for the past 22 years and has worked at both the St Francis Nursing Home, in Church Street, and St Joseph’s Convent, in East Street.
On Thursday (November 6), she will be taking up her new post in the pilgrimage village of Knock, in County Mayo, Ireland, to begin her latest work with her convent there.
Speaking of her time in Littlehampton, Sister Anastasia said: “I have really loved my time here.
“I will miss the people who I have met and the churches I have helped.
“I’m going to miss how all the church community is so united.
“They all work together extremely well. There are some great friendships between the churches who work together. It’s beautiful.
“That’s how it should be – Christians helping and working together.”
Sister Anastasia has been the parish sister at St Catherine’s church, in Beach Road, for the past three years.
On Thursday, a farewell dinner was held at the church in her honour.
She added: “This was really lovely. I was able to say farewell to everyone while I was there.”
Before coming to Littlehampton in 1993, she had been based at the St Blaise RC Middle School in Bradford for 21 years.
But it was a job that she initially was reluctant to take.
“I really didn’t want to be there,” she recounted. “But they loved me and I got the job.
“But I met God for real in Bradford when I had to deal with one family up there. They showed me God alive. It was a real spiritual awakening.”
While working in Littlehampton, Sister Anastasia said she was given a mission from God to help those less fortunate and the families of those who had loved their lost ones.
She said comforting the bereaved was a particularly rewarding job for her, as was helping eucharistic ministers in their duties delivering communion to the seriously ill and housebound.
The sister has been a steadfast supporter of Littlehampton Churches Together and the Redeeming our Community (ROC) scheme.
She also helped with the productions of the musicals in the town, including Joseph last year, a variety show earlier this year, and was set to produce Snow White with a Difference next spring.
Summing up her time in Littlehampton, Sister Anastasia said: “I would like to thank all the people for their support, encouragement, friendship and love over the years.
“I will pray for you all while in Knock.”