Tea cups from the Adderton: house & heart of mercy collection. Photo: Greg Henderson

Image by Greg Henderson/Adderton Collection

What’s the meaning of a tea cup?

At Adderton: house & heart of mercy tea cups represent hospitality, inclusivity, friendship and self-care. The thirty tea sets in the Adderton collection, which once belonged to Sisters of Mercy convents throughout Queensland, serve as reminders of the good that come from pausing for a cup of tea: conversation, community and renewal.

The founder of the Sisters of Mercy, Catherine McAuley, recognised the restorative powers of tea and the value of a good cup. On a visit from her home congregation in Baggot Street, Dublin to the Mercy Sisters in Birr, County Offaly, Catherine found herself longing for a ‘real Baggot Street drink of tea.’ The tea cups at Birr were ‘baby toys compared to ours’ and Catherine needed to ask for five cups to make up the deficiency.

Catherine’s thoughts were also on tea as she approached her death in November 1841. A good cup of tea in the convent’s community room would, Catherine noted, help to ease the Sisters’ mourning. For Catherine, tea provided sustenance for the soul and for the body. Perhaps she would agree with Author’s Pinero’s belief that ‘Where there’s tea, there’s hope.’

Adderton: house & heart of mercy is carrying on the Mercy value of hospitality by offering affordable and accessible venue hire. We will have a range of rooms available, from small meeting rooms with views of the Story Bridge to open gallery spaces and a courtyard. We would love to hear from you if you’re interested in holding an event at Adderton: house & heart of mercy in 2018. Get in touch through our contact form.




Our Stories

Read about the collections, values and culture of Adderton: house & heart of mercy and learn more about the achievements, emotions and personalities of the people who made its history.

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