Revillaging podcast episode 2: I once was a nun – shifting communities

“You are valued for essentially doing something that society would be like: “Why are you wasting your time?” – Alison Finch, on contemplation

I’m not hugely one for new year’s resolutions but can I suggest you add “listen to podcasts” to the list if you don’t already (it’s essentially brain food) or, if you already do, maybe just listen to this one! The second episode of Revillaging is out now.

In this episode, I chat with Alison Finch, a university friend of mine, about her experience of joining and leaving a convent in her twenties. It’s a rare conversation that starts with monastic life, winds up on a rugby pitch, meandering into a short stint as a drag artist while hitting lots of other points on the way.

It may sound like a niche story but there is so much here for all of us to explore. We talk about, amongst other things:

  • Finding the nuance within disagreement
  • Settling into collective understanding
  • Thinking about the way we value people
  • What community teaches us about accepting ourselves

Please be aware that this episode contains occasional strong language.

Dive in.

Listen on iTunes and subscribe.

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Or listen here below:

Back in October, I sat with my friend Alison to talk with her for my podcast, Revillaging, about her decision to become a nun, life in a convent and her call to leave – all in her 20s. We also talked about what the community there gave her and where she’s found community since.

When we sat for 2 hours (worry not, listeners, it’s only 46 minutes and, future guests, I’ve learned my lesson!) I didn’t know where the conversation was going to go. I knew I wanted to talk about community because she’d lived in an immersive one.

As we began to chat, I was immediately struck that I was being handed a precious gift in her amazing story. Alison spoke candidly about her bipolar, her understanding of God and contemplative prayer, her experiences in volunteering and on the LGBT scene, gardening and playing rugby.

I sat to edit it, worried that I wouldn’t do all she’d entrusted me justice but it practically came together on its own. Alison is wise, witty and badass, and her natural theme of reaching out for the bigger thing that connects us, whether it’s Source, activism or fun, easily came through.

I’m aiming to get the podcast out once a month (narrowly made it by publishing on New Year’s Eve!). Subscribing and reviewing helps others find it. And please share with anyone you think would benefit from these conversations.

To chat some more, find me on Instagram: @adelejk, Twitter: @AdeleJK and Facebook: Adele Jarrett-Kerr


Writer, blogger, home educating mama of two, another baby on the way, breastfeeding helper, wife of a good 'un, Christian, crafter, displaced Trini.

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Episode 4