Monthly Digest: May 2018 - Mucknell Abbey
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Canon Mark and Br Michael

Monthly Digest: May 2018

  • Br Michaël made his monthly trip to Canterbury for the third week of his icon writing course.


  • On Monday 7th May Abbot Thomas, Br Michaël, Br Aidan, Br Adrian and Sr Sally travelled back to Monmouthshire to hand deliver the completed icon of St Benedict which Canon Mark Soady had commissioned for St Mary’s Priory, Abergavenny. A tour of the priory was followed by a high tea that did full justice to Welsh hospitality and later a Q&A session with members of the parish. The afternoon ended with Solemn Vespers, when the icon was blessed and the Herbert Chapel was re-dedicated to St Benedict. It was also a chance for people to catch-up with Br Adrian, who is a former member of the Holywell Community based at St Marys.

See photographs above and below. For more visit


Visit to Abergavenny

Fr Thomas, Joanna (Holywell Community), Canon Mark and the Community at Abergavenny


  • On Sunday 12th May we celebrated our Foundation Day. Eight years ago this day the foundation stone of the new oratory was laid by John Inge, Bishop of Worcester.


Laying the foundation stone

Bishop John and the Community in 2010


  • On the feast of Pentecost some members of the Community attended an evening service at Worcester Cathedral to mark the end of the ten day Thy Kingdom Come global prayer movement for evangelisation.


  • On Monday 21st May Professor Sue Gillingham returned to deliver the third in a series of four lectures on themes in the Hebrew Bible, looking this time at ethics. Sue surveyed some of the dominant models for ethical behaviour found in the Hebrew Bible, highlighting once again the Near Eastern context from which they emerged. This was followed by an informal Q&A session in the afternoon, when we discussed some of the difficulties involved in using the Bible as a guide for ethical behaviour.


  • On the same day we welcomed Br Thomas from the Christusraeger Bruderschaft. Br Thomas had spent Pentecost at Mirfield and was joining us for a couple of nights before returning to the impossibly picturesque guesthouse that the brotherhood run in Switzerland, which welcomes hundreds of pilgrims a year walking the Camino de Santiago. We both enjoyed and learnt from his short visit and some of us will hopefully see him again at the next International Conference of Religious, where Br Aidan met him last year.


Br Thomas


  • On Friday 25 May Br Stuart and Br Aidan travelled to the Community of St Mary the Virgin at Wantage. The Community are very kindly allowing Br Aidan to use their archives to research the early history of SSMV. There was also time to meet with the Sisters over coffee, who are anticipating the start of major building work ahead of the arrival of the Oxford Diocescan Board of Education, who will have their offices in one of the Convent wings.


  • There was an unusual looking guest to the Kitchen Garden this month, caught on camera by Jessica (see below). Br Anthony later identified it as a Puss Moth. It’s been all go in the garden this month. Sr Alison has been overseeing the planting of, among other things, potatoes, squash, and courgette, and trying to keep on top of the weeding. I’m also told that the worms are ‘very happy’, and the bees have now taken possession of their new hives. Brothers Stuart and Aidan have also been busy creating a new flowerbed at the entrance to the monastery – because there isn’t enough weeding to do already!


Puss Moth

The Puss Moth