Thursday, May 26, 2011

Minster-in-Thanet.... rural Kent on a breezy, sunny morning. A number of us staying at the Guest House of Minster Abbey, including members of a craft group specialising in spinning and weaving!

At Minster, Benedictine nuns revived in the 1930s a Saxon community that had been dissolved many centuries before. Today, it is thriving, and in the simple chapel built out of local stone, the sisters gathered for Mass. It was lovely to walk through the quiet sunny garden and enter the cool chapel with its tall windows through which light poured from the wide Kent sky. The sisters sang, and one of them did the readings. Celebrant at Mass was Father Peter Geldard, chaplain of the University of Kent at Canterbury, and he preached about St Philip Neri, whose feast-day it was.

A young lady was due to arrive today to join the community, and by tradition newcomers spend their first night in the guest-house, where as it happens she was to be given the room in which I had been sleeping. This thought gave me quiet pleasure: I hope that long happy years lie ahead of her in this lovely Abbey, where they were preparing a warm and affectionate welcome for her...

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