28 June 2021
» On Thursday last week, the Solemnity of the Birth of John the Baptist, Abbot Geoffrey celebrated Mass for a small congregation in the medieval gatehouse of the once-great Benedictine abbey at Colchester in Essex. The abbey, named in honour of the Baptist, fell victim in 1539 to Henry VIII's dissolution of the monasteries, and its last abbot, Blessed John Beche, was put to death in the grounds of the monastery. The abbot was the first Benedictine to celebrate Mass at Colchester Abbey since the dissolution. The gatehouse is all that remains of what had been England's fourth largest abbey. You can read the full account of this historic Mass at Indepdendent Catholic News.
» The next day Fr Gabriel's lures attracted a large swarm of wild bees (below), the first of the season, which happily made a beeline to their new home in one of our hives. He remarks, "Some of the brethren questioned my description of the bees 'marching' into the hive, until I explained that 30-40 000 bees can't all fly at once into a new home. Beekeepers usually make a ramp because a swarm will always march upwards towards the entrance of the hive." Bees are nothing if not well organised.
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