29 April 2023
» Last week we welcomed a second group of professors of theology and philosophy for a writing retreat. The retreat was organised by Professor Karen Kilby of the Centre for Catholic Studies at Durham University, and Professor Clare Carlisle of King's College, London. Various books written by the participants were displayed for the community to examine.
» On Thursday 27 April the 44th EBC History Symposium was held, with a number of papers presented:
- "The Dissolution of Reading Abbey," by Professor James Clark of Exeter University
- "From Exile to Exile; the Return of the English Benedictine Nuns to England," by Dr Scholastica Jacob
- "The Archives of the English Benedictine Nuns of Dunkirk and Teignmouth," by Samantha Baxter
- "The Chipping Sodbury Reliquary (1320)," by our own Fr Geoffrey
The object (above) of Fr Geoffrey's paper was found by him on the floor of the rare books room at Douai in 1978. It is now on loan to the Victoria & Albert Museum, located in its Room 84, and is regarded as a very rare survival from the Middle Ages. It likely came from the abbey of Bury St Edmunds, of which Douai Abbey is the formal successor, and features the arms of the abbey and of St Edmund, our patron.
» Nine soldiers from the Royal School of Military Engineering in Blackwater, Surrey visited Douai on Wednesday 26 April to experience 24 hours in a monastery. They were led by their Church of Scotland chaplain, Richard Begg. It was a very successful visit and they hope to make it a regular event. They wanted to make a practical contribution to the monastery, so they undertook to straighten some of the crosses in the monastic cemetery which have slipped askew over the years. The picture below shows that the first eight crosses are now standing properly to attention. They also started the work of cleaning the crosses to make the names more legible. The soldiers are hoping to return to finish the job. We look forward to their return!
» The latest edition of our annual, The Douai Magazine, is now available from the monastery. It is a bumper edition this year, with coverage of the election and blessing of Abbot Paul, and the 300th anniversary of the birth of our eminent confrere Bishop Charles Walmesley, along with other articles, along with the usual community news, book reviews, and obituaries. As ever it remains free, but donations towards its production and postage costs are gratefully received!