Named in remembrance of Mother Superior Ambrose McDonnell, the long-term administrator of St Anne’s Convent and orphanage who died from cancer on July 17, 1971. The orphange for girls had been set up at the end of the 19thCentury on land bought by the Catholic church in Orpington. But following World War Two the number of new charges declined and the convent moved towards fostering instead. By 1979, plans were afoot for the building of a new Parish Church. The site of the old Church, that of the orphanages, much of the land surrounding St Anne’s and a large field (including a small cemetery) were sold by the Diocese to finance the purchase of part of Coloma College in West Wickham for development as St John Rigby School, a Catholic comprehensive school. The land was bought by Ideal Homes Developers.
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