Work has an important role in Carmelite life, although the hours given to it are not extensive, as the real work is prayer. Carmelites have always endeavoured to earn their living by the work of their own hands, after the example of St Paul. As well as being an expression of poverty and part of the penitential aspect of the life, it enables a community to have something to give to those in need.
Every member of the community takes her share of the ordinary household tasks. In this community our main source of income is from the making and distribution of altarbreads in which most of the sisters are involved. This includes cooking, damping, cutting and packaging of the altarbreads. We are also privileged to have a large garden which needs to be tended. It includes an orchard and vegetable garden. Although they do not make us entirely self – supporting, they keep us supplied with fruit and vegetables throughout the year.
On Sundays and special feasts, when the sisters are not engaged in remunerative work, and household tasks are limited to essentials, the sisters are able to develop their particular talent. The traditional monastic art of illuminating is no longer practised here, but sisters are developing computer skills, and many handicrafts such as pyrography, woodwork, candle making, and every kind of needlework.