St. Monica's has to do with the Prevention and Rescue work of the Diocese. It was started a quarter of a century ago [i.e. about 1910], and after having its centre for some years in Epsom, was removed to Leatherhead in 1922. The work owes a very large debt to Bishop Randolph, our advisor for many years, I doubt if without him we should have been able at times to carry on. To him we owe our worker, Sister Alicia, who has been with us for nearly twenty years. No one has had more experience than she has in this very difficult work, and the girls under her care are helped to a new life by making their home as bright and cheerful as possible. Since writing this Sister Alicia has resigned, but still helps us on our Committee.
On leaving Ashley Road, Epsom, in 1921, because the house in which we had carried on the work was wanted, we had considerable difficulty in finding another. Almost all the parishes in the Deanery contributed nobly towards the purchase of a house if such could be found, and here I should like to mention the very generous and kind help constantly given by the late Mrs. Garton of Banstead Wood, Banstead. Banstead led the way, but was well followed by the other parishes.
Towards the purchase of a house, secured in the Kingston Road, Leatherhead, we had early in 1922 obtained all but about £600. Before the end of the year this had been reduced to £150, when a very unexpected and generous donation of £500 was received from the executors of the will of the late Mr. Salomons, of Norbury Park. This enabled us to pay off the remainder of our debt and to invest £350 in five per cent War Loan.
The work is done by Sister Alicia, who visits all the parishes in turn, and is always ready to address meetings of mothers, and to help girls not only who have fallen, but who are in danger of falling. Our objects are to protect and help friendless girls, to rescue the fallen, to provide a friend to whom girls can always apply in time of perplexity, and to give advice to parents in cases when innocent girls may be exposed to danger. The work is carried on under a very able committee of ladies chosen from among the twenty parishes in the Deaneries of Epsom and Leatherhead. It is perforce of a secret character and very difficult. Few can undertake it, therefore I feel special thanks are due to those who do so, and without doubt we owe a great debt of gratitude to our chief worker.
To the Rescue of Young Women
Also in the first month of 1916, revealing news was given about the work of St. Monica's Home for Preventative and Rescue Work which was situated in Ashley Road. It had opened quietly and then closed in the previous year but now it was felt that there were big enough numbers to continue the work of the Home. Sister Palmer had asked for clothes, boots and shoes for girls, a sewing machine, an ink-stand and blotter, and cot blankets.
At the re-opening by the Bishop of Guildford it was made known that the Home was for those who wished to save themselves from themselves.
Someone who lived in Epsom at the time remembers a nun, in Waterloo Road, trying to save one of the girls by pulling her forcefully back towards the Home.