Martina Purdy reveals new life in religious order

Martina Purdy on BBC Songs of Praise
Martina Purdy on BBC Songs of Praise

Former BBC political correspondent Martina Purdy who swapped the corridors of Stormont for the convent last year will this Sunday tell about her new life in Songs of Praise.

Last October Ms Purdy shocked colleagues and politicians when she joined the Adoration Sisters in west Belfast.

She made the move after more than 20 years in journalism.

Speaking on Songs of Praise, Ms Purdy says: “I suppose people were shocked when I announced what I was going to do but I had lived with it for a while.

“I’ve always been a Catholic but I think, when I look back, I was really asleep in my faith compared to how it is now.”

Ms Purdy adds: “It is quieter at times. We have silence at breakfast and most of our meals are in silence and we work in silence.”

The former high profile political reporter was educated at a convent school and raised as a Catholic but has previously said she had no “calling” when she was younger.

In the programme Ms Purdy says she has already experienced the benefits of her new commitment since joining the convent.

“People come to us for prayers and it is really a beautiful experience when someone comes to you,” she added.

“I feel fulfilled.”

In the same programme former renowned lawyer Elaine Kelly – who also joined the convent – also talks about her new life.

“I am no longer at the bar, I don’t have the pressure of that, but for me I could see for a long time I was going deeper into prayer and becoming more contemplative,” she said.

Both women have many years of preparation ahead of them before they take their final vows

To hear their stories watch Sunday’s Songs of Praise on BBC One NI at 4pm.