Sunderland's singing nuns return for Clap for Heroes after being approached by Britain's Got Talent

The Lockdown 3 Clap for Heroes may not have taken off in the same way as it did in the first Lockdown, but Sunderland’s singing nuns still gave it their all.

Friday, 8th January 2021, 2:27 pm
Updated Friday, 8th January 2021, 2:28 pm

On Thursday, January 7, a revived version of the applause for people at the frontline of the pandemic was met with a quieter response than the initial Clap for Carers.

Millions took part over 10 weeks from March last year, but 10 months later many are stating the NHS would be better supported through funding.

To lift spirits in their neighbourhood of Thornhill, however, the singing sisters from St Anthony’s Convent of Mercy returned to sing hymns.

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St Anthony's Convent of Mercy in Tunstall Road, Thornhill, sang hymns for Clap for Heroes.

The sisters are all one household, so can stand together. Their performances last year of hymns, such as He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands, This Little Light of Mine and Give Me Joy In My Heart, captured the then mood of the nation and saw them appear on Kensington Palace’s Instagram account, as well as in national BBC coverage and on CNN in America.

They were even asked to appear on Britain’s Got Talent by producers, but didn’t want to travel to London for filming as many of the sisters are elderly.

Sister Josepha, who led the Clap for Heroes, said: “We couldn’t believe the response last year, it was absolutely brilliant. At the time we thought it would all be over by now and we were hoping to invite all our neighbours for a garden party to celebrate.

"We know a lot of people who work in hospitals, so when I heard the Clap for Heroes was starting again we decided to do something to brighten people’s spirits and say thank you.

The sisters performed This Little Light of Mine.

"We only did a couple of verses of This Little Light of Mine as it was cold and snowing, but people passing were beeping their horns to show support.”

Sister Josepha added: “The claps have been quieter this year, but we’ll do it again. There’s been a lot of pain and suffering because of the virus and we want to show people that our love and prayers are with them, whatever the weather.”

Elsewhere in the country, many still took to their doorsteps to Clap for Heroes and landmarks in London were lit blue as an expression of solidarity with the NHS.

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