Monthly Digest: August 2018 - Mucknell Abbey
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Jessica and Thomas

Monthly Digest: August 2018

  • In a simple rite of reception on 7th our Alongsider Jessica was clothed in the habit and became our latest Novice (see feature photograph). You can read about her journey here.


  • The competition for the Most Unlikely Place to Find a Nun was won by Sr Sally this month, after being invited on 10th to attend the Commissioning of former Alongsider Tom Redman at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. Tom will serve as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Regiment of Scotland.


  • From 12th to 15th, in celebration of the Feast of the Assumption, we had what is known as a Community Weekend – although it wasn’t at the weekend! On Sunday, in what is now a firmly established summer-time tradition, we were invited for “Tea & Vespers” at the Archdeacon’s house. Many thanks to Rob, Mike and Cathy for their hospitality. The following Tuesday some of us were given the chance to go to Hay-on-Wye to indulge our bibliophilia. We also enjoyed a picnic by the river, feasting – through long-established custom – from recycled Flora tubs.


Rob, Mike & Cathy

Our hosts Rob, Cathy and Mike.

Alison & Jessica

Sr Jessica and Sr Alison


  • We welcomed two visitors this month: Sr Mary Stephen OSB from Malling Abbey, who was with us on Retreat, and Br Matthew CSS, an Ordinand at St Padarn’s Institute, who has used it as an opportunity to make some progress on his essays. But that didn’t prevent him from being shanghaied on 22nd by Br Stuart, who drove them both to HMP Bristol in order to collect two new outdoor benches that were made for us in the workshop there.


  • Worcestershire is famous for its plums, and at the generous invitation of our neighbours at Upper Wolvercote Farm some of us went on a plum-picking spree on 25th – and again on 29th – led by Sr Sally. There was an astonishing superabundance of them, and we managed to pick over 200lb. We took half of our haul home, where, after being frozen, they’ll sure to last us until next August.



The complete haul…


The Happy Cellarer


  • On 26th Br Stuart left us for Canterbury Cathedral, where he is leading the annual Friends of St Benedict Pilgrimage.


  • Br Michäel recently completed an icon of the Holy Family. It is the second icon to be commissioned by St Mary’s Abergavenny and will go in the St Joseph Chapel.


  • Regular readers of the Digest will have come to expect a quirky news item from the garden, and this month will not leave you disappointed. This (see below) is a Buff-tip caterpillar. Br Anthony’s handbook revealed that they are given to eating trees among a crowd before dispersing for a solitary life, later pupating in the soil. All suitably monastic, you’ll agree (well, the solitary bit at least). But as Sr Alison noted, ‘Quite what this one was doing on our cucumbers in the greenhouse is anyone’s guess’.




  • Some of you may know that Br Aidan has been working to put together a history of the Community. If anyone is reading this who knew the Sisters at Burford in the years before 1987 he would very much like to hear from you! He can be contacted at