Call the Midwife Wiki

Sister Julienne O.S.R.N (birth name Louise) is the Sister-in-Charge of Nonnatus House. She is portrayed by Jenny Agutter.


Sister Julienne is always shown to be the voice of wisdom to the other nurses of Poplar, kind and empathetic, she often helps her fellow Sisters and nurses through personal crisis with gentleness and acceptance.


Three sisters in the war

Sister Julienne during the war years with Sisters Evangelina and Monica Joan

Before she became a nun, Sister Julienne's name was Louise. Her father was in the army, and when Louise was very small, her father moved the family to Aden upon being posted there. Here, Louise grew close to the young son of another army man, Charles Newgarden, who was friends with her father. Until the early 1930s, Louise and Charles remained very close, and it is implied that they were in love and Charles planned to ask her to marry him, but Louise was called to the religious life and she could not resist it. After standing Charles up at the cinema, Louise cuts nearly all ties with him and becomes a postulant. She sends him a letter before cutting off contact. After that she took her novice vows with the nun who would become Mother Jesu Emmanuel, at some point after that she was sent to Nonnatus house in Poplar and was nursing there from at least as early as the blitz.

In Series One, after seeing how Jenny is disgusted with how the people of the East End live, Sister Julienne relates that when she was new to Poplar, she too often found it hard to curb her revulsion, but expresses that the women living in the conditions are the ones that need their help.

Sisters Julienne and Bernadette

In Series Two, Sister Julienne often councils and consoles Sister Bernadette in her doubts and worries about her position in the Order. She never once insists that it is a phase or that it will wane with time. When Sister Bernadette leaves the Order, Sister Julienne is heartbroken to see her go, but lets her go without resentment. When Sister Bernadette, now Shelagh Mannion, expresses her confusion and heartache over not knowing if her former sisters will want to associate with her now that she is Shelagh, the Sister consoles her and tells her she will always be dear to them and if her wedding to Patrick is meant to be, it will happen. On the day of the wedding,  Shelagh says Sister Julienne should walk her down the aisle, but the Sister says "You belong to no-one but yourself, and you know exactly where you're going".

In Series Three, Sister Julienne takes a special interest in a young, pregnant woman named Stella Crangle, who is serving prison time. Stella says she has a fiancé who is a sailor and asks Sister Julienne to be her character witness to the prison board, who will determine whether she is permitted to keep her baby. Sister Julienne tries to help by finding the fiancé, but she soon learns he was an invention by Stella. Going before the prison board, Sister Julienne admits that Stella lied, but pleads that it was a misguided effort to keep her baby. Sister Julienne says she feels that Stella can be a very good mother, but the board say unless Stella can find work and a suitable home for herself and baby, her child will be taken away. After calling in a few favours, Sister Julienne manages to secure Stella lodgings and a job at a Mothers' Hospital. Stella writes Sister Julienne a letter after leaving the prison with her son, expressing her thankfulness to the sister and promising never to forget her kindness.

In Series Four, Charles contacts Sister Julienne again under the guise that he wants to make a generous donation to Nonnatus House, as he is very rich and is dying. When they see each other again for the first time in 30 years, Sister Julienne begins to question whether or not she made the right choice in becoming a nun. Sensing that they both are troubled with the thought of what might have been, she and Charles assure each other that no one could know what their life together might have been, or if they would have been as happy as they are in their current lives. After asking how the Sister would like to hear the news that he has died, Sister Julienne tells Charles that she'd rather not hear it at all, but says a letter is how she'd like to find out. At their last meeting, Sister Julienne and Charles watch the film they were going to watch 30 years before. When the Sister gets the news that Charles has died, she is devastated and still lingers with doubt.

Charles and Sister Julienne

In Series Five, the the birth control pill is introduced to the UK and to the midwives of Nonnatus. Dr. Turner first explains the pill to Sister Julienne, excitedly proclaiming that women can now choose when to get pregnant. However, the Sister is less enthusiastic, proclaiming that the pill presents "moral" complications. The Sister fears that with the ability to avoid pregnancy, younger women will start having regular sex before marriage, and thinks that pregnancy should not be controlled in such a way. This sparks a debate among the women of Nonnatus, and creates a bit of tension between Dr and Mrs. Turner and the nun.

Although Sister Julienne extensively questions the pill's effectiveness and safety, Dr. Turner assures her that it is very effective and very safe.

She accompanied other sisters and nurses on their way to South Africa in the 2016 Christmas Special.

At the start of Series Six, Sister Julienne is demoted following her return from South Africa, and Sister Ursula is made in charge. However, Sister Ursula instates a 20 minute-per-patient rule and Barbara, distracted by the time limit, doesn't notice that a newborn is suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. After this, Sister Ursula is deemed unfit to run Nonnatus House and Sister Julienne is re-instated to Sister-In-Charge.

In the 2018 Christmas Special, Sister Julienne is summoned back to the Mother House when Mother Jesu Emmanuel, the Mother Superior of the Order, is found to be terminally ill. Sister Julienne fears that she will be elected the new Mother Superior when her fellow Sisters cast their votes, but is relieved when Sister Mildred is elected instead, and she is able to return to Nonnatus House. and she care for all her colleague.

In series 9 Sister Julienne gets word that Nonnatus House is to be demolished at some point by 1967, she decides to keep this a secret from everyone but Sister Hilda. The sister fears that Nonnatus may not have any sort of future in Poplar, with the combined effects of the pill and more hospital deliveries the council is begining to see the order as redundant. To prove the order is still relevant the order hosts four trainee doctors, this doesn't go down well with the other sisters and staff, despite not getting off to the best start one of the doctors Kevin McNulty stays on full time after he finishes his training. Around November Sister Julienne gets word that the Nonnatus budget will be halved and the rent increased, this causes the midwives to make a petiton and getting a chance to speak to the council. Nurse Trixie Franklin is able to convince the men to reduce the rent and restore the budget but only for twelve months.

By Series 10 the issue becomes less about relevance and more about money. The order would need a great deal more money is they want a Nonnatus House at the end of the year. To do this she arranges for Nonnatus to supply midwives to a private clinic called the Lady Emily, with the money from that the order would be self sufficient, she sends Trixie for several weeks and everything seems set in motion until Trixie discovers the clinic doing abortions which were illegal in 1966. The order pulls out and needs a new way ahead, this new ways comes when Shelagh Turner suggests a pupil midwife training scheme which would come with enough funding to cover all expenses placed on them. Even more good news comes when Matthew Aylward who Trixie met in the Lady Emily agrees to donate £1000 pounds a year to the order which makes certain Nonnatus House will carry on in Poplar.

at some point between Christmas and Easter the Nonnatus training scheme ends, Nancy Corrigan one of the pupil midwives however qualifies and becomes a full time employee of the order, according to sister julienne while they were delighted that she qualified it wasn’t a foregone conclusion she would. Nonnatus is now dependant on the support given by Matthew Aylward the benefactor of Nonnatus. While some people could relax in their regained security Sister Julienne pushes herself further and further into her work and like thread snaps in S11 E03. Luckily it turns out to only be labyrinthitis (an infection of the inner ear) but doctor Turner warns her that if she carries on it will be worse than that one day and she is ordered to rest. Nonnatus is planning for its centenary celebration and Sister Hilda is happy to step into action to plan it but Sister Julienne asks for Shelagh to do it instead. Shelagh comes up with a celebration even sister Julienne approves of even allowing balloons. The sister is well enough to attend the celebrations.

The train about to crash

In S11 E07 Sister Julienne, Dr Turner and Shelagh are planning on attending a midwifery conference, but Shelagh must give up her ticket so instead it goes to Nancy Corrigan who she and Sister Hilda were eager she get some focus. The journey to the conference goes well, on the journey back they meet a woman named Mrs Carnie who the sisters delivered her nine children and she tells them motherhood was the best thing she ever did in her life. Unfortunately train collides with another and derails, Sister Julienne can only gasp before disaster strikes. Nancy Corrigan was able to escape but Dr Turner and herself were trapped in the carriage, she breaks her ribs but seems alright. Mrs Carnie succumbed to her injuries and died, not long after Timothy Turner finds them both but as it seems well she begins suffering heart attack like symptoms and passes out. The two are rushed to hospital, her suspected heart attack would mean she would likely be in no state of health to carry on working like Sister Monica Joan. Most of the team scramble to help with the damage but without the two who usually lead them they only barely stay afloat. As it turns out she didn’t have a heart attack and merely went into shock but would recover, she is driven to her home by Nurse Crane and given the welcome she deserves.

In Series 12 Sister Julienne welcomes health visitor Sister Veronica to Nonnatus, the trouble is Sister Veronica can’t find a bike she likes and lies to Sister Julienne telling her she had to have part of a lung removed. When she finds out about this Sister Julienne compares it to “highway robbery”. In the end Sister Veronica gets a scooter and Sister Julienne ends the episode more vexed than she began it.  When at the clinic expectant mother Lillian Reynolds is examined and sent to St Cuthberts because of a problem with her breast. She is found to have breast cancer and can’t feed her baby and missed out on going to first clinic, Sister Julienne tries to understand but Lillian dismisses her for giving away everything that made her a woman. When Lillian’s daughter cries and only stops when she holds her Sister Julienne says she doesn’t wish she led a different life but Lillian’s body was doing things she could only wonder at. Nonnatus House comes under threat once again when a doctor called Threapwood who calls Sister Julienne to his office decides Nonnatus House is not efficient or functional. He tells the sister that at a time to be decided by the board of health Nonnatus House would lose autonomy and would be in the employment of the health service that could close them down at any time. She decides to take charge of this situation, when Phyllis Crane was worried about their future she assures her they were safe, she would restart the pupil midwife training scheme and had Sir Matthew Aylward purchase Nonnatus House outright, they were safe. She later attended the wedding of her longest running staff nurse Trixie Franklin.


"Every woman alive is the sum of all she ever did and felt and was." - Sister Julienne to Shelagh Turner (Series 6 Episode 8)

"The word midwife means with woman. A woman in that situation needs somebody by her side, whatever mistakes or choices brought her to our door" - Sister Julienne referring to Cath Hindman (Series 8 Episode 1)


  • Sister Julienne was one of only two characters, the other being Sister Bernadette/Shelagh Turner, to appear in every single episode up untill Series 12 episode 3, where sister Julienne is only seen in the preview for episode 4.
  • Sister Julienne was based on a real nun who nursed with Jennifer Worth known as Sister Jocelyn.
  • in Series 11 Sister Julienne reveals her mother's name was Elizabeth.