Monthly Digest: June 2018 - Mucknell Abbey
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Hay Bailing

Monthly Digest: June 2018

  • We kicked off June with our patronal Feast of the Visitation. The Community was founded as the Society of the ‘Salutation’ – an older rendering of Visitation – in 1941. For more information see the history pages, which Br Aidan is slowly adding to as time allows.


  • Regular readers of the Digest will not be surprised to learn that we once again lost Br Michaël to Canterbury and his icon course. You can read more about this here. He was also delighted to take receipt on 13 June of his new Tramper, which will enable him to get about the estate.


Br Michael's Tramper

Br Michael on the new Tramper


  • On 2 June Sr Alison led a study day on the Rule of St Benedict at Norwich Cathedral entitled Life Giving – Peace Making: the Rule of St Benedict for everyday life.


  • On 4 June Br Thomas went to County Hall in Worcester for another stakeholders meeting in connection with the new train station – Worcestershire Parkway – being built at the end of Mucknell Farm Lane. Everything is still on schedule for a Winter 2018/19 opening.


Worcestershire Parkway

A photo of the new train station taken this week


  • From 11-14 June Sr Alison attended the Novice Guardians’ Conference at the Community of the Resurrection at Mirfield. There were 10 Novice Guardians (or their Assistants) present from different Anglican Religious Communities. Suzanne Hyde from the Marylebone Healing and Counselling Centre led a day reflecting on the principles of counselling and psychotheraphy that might be applied in assisting people to fulfil their vocational potential.


  • On 22 June Br Stuart was present for the Commissioning of the 2017-8 cohort of the Community of St Anselm at Lambeth Palace. On the following day he took part in the Alban Pilgrimage, having been invited to preach at Evensong. A copy of his sermon can be read here.


Jeffrey John and Br Stuart

Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, with Br Stuart, under several heavy layers. ‘I was glad of the breeze’ [photo courtesy of Richard Gillin]


  • On 26 – 29 June Br Adrian attended an internovitiate conference at Turvey Abbey on inter-religious and ecumenical dialogue. This included a visit to Amaravarti, a Theravada Buddhist monastery near Hemel Hempstead.


  • On 25-26 June Sr Sally attended a meeting of the Anglican Religious Conference (ARC) in London, an organisation established to promote Anglican Religious Life. One of the items on their agenda was to organize the third residential conference, taking place next September, between traditional and emerging communities at High Leigh in Cambridgeshire.


  • On 30th June Abbot Thomas and Br Stuart went to Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford for the ordination to the diaconate of Dr Sue Gillingham, Professor of the Hebrew Bible at Oxford University and a long-standing friend of the Community.


  • The garden has started producing lots of fruit – cherries, raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants, redcurrants – and we’re on the cusp of a huge tomato haul. Many thanks to the guests who laboured to clear the weeds around the raspberry canes under the heat of the mid-day sun. On 26 June a friend of our neighbour at Hill Farm House came to cut our meadows and bail the hay. Br Anthony, who manages the estate, writes:

“May and June has been a very busy time on the estate. The mild and reasonably damp spring encouraged amazing growth in the tree plantations and the hay meadows. Alas the tree growth also showed up more infected ash trees and the next month’s work will concentrate on cutting down the infected trees. Fortunately some of the ash seem to be resistant so we hope to maintain the local mix of tree species. The hornbeams we planted last year are doing well. It has been very good for butterflies this year but we have not had as many summer migrant birds. The feeding station we set up in the winter has now become a recognized hot spot and we have two families of Great Spotted Woodpeckers visiting along with lots of goldfinches, greenfinches, blue tits, long-tailed tits, great tits and various other small birds. We have nearly finished removing tree tubes in the hazel coppices. The hay meadows were cut this week and the baler will be arriving soon. Our two bee hives are doing well and I am hoping to find another home for the remaining colonies in the old hives”


Cutting the meadow

All flesh is grass: mowing the south meadow

Graham with weeds

Graham, a good friend of the Community, with a barrow full of weeds

Bertie the cat

Br Bertie warming his arthritic bones


  • If anyone has a spare or unwanted copy of Aelred of Rievaulx’s Spiritual Friendship (Cisterian Studies series) it would make our librarian Br Patrick very happy. The copy we had in our library seems to have gone missing. Br Patrick can be contacted at