The spectators were amazed and excited, especially by some of their uninhibited rapture. From a postcital self-portrait by Sir Stanley Spencer with Patricia Preece, Sister Wendy confessed, "I love all those glittering strands of hair and her pubic hairs are so soft and fluffy."
It was a sensation that was widely cited. Frank Bruni said in the Times, "The incongruity of such passionate and often sensual expressions, which stems from a bowed, bespectacled, 67-year-old nun, is the secret of Sister Wendy's charm and success."
Wendy Mary Beckett was born on February 25, 1
Early on, she intended to become a nun, and at the age of 16, she entered the Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, a teaching assignment, as Sister Michael of St. Peter. After the reforms of the Vatican, she became sister Wendy.
She studied literature in Oxford in the early 1950s, lived in a convent, and kept to her strict silence for four years. She graduated from her class. After her return to South Africa she taught for 15 years in a monastery in Cape Town and later taught at the Johannesburg University of Witwatersrand.
After suffering three severe seizures and experiencing a form of epilepsy, she received the Vatican's approval to give up teaching for a life of loneliness. In 1970 she returned to England and moved to the trailer of the Carmelite monastery.
Sister Wendy eventually wrote 25 books, including poetry collections and meditations, and made a dozen documentary films, many on DVD. She returned again and again to the austere seclusion in which her home was for almost half a century, though her follower was upgraded in 1994.
"The sisters worry about the lack of insulation, so they set up a small motorhome that did this. A bathroom, a toilet and lighting fixtures," she told The Telegraph of London in 2010. "I have an electric car Kettle, a fridge, a holding oven and a night storage, so that my life is as comfortable as it has to be. "