» Last Thursday Fr Abbot drove to Oulton Abbey in Staffordshire for a meeting of that community's trustees. After that he drove on to Ormskirk to visit the brethren there for a couple of days. Alas, on the way from Oulton the gearbox on his car expired and he had to be rescued by the AA. Having racked up almost 190,000 miles the abbatial Skoda has given sterling service. The bursar now has to buy another Skoda to fill the gap.
» The Tuesday just prior Fr Abbot was at the Royal Wimbledon Golf Club for a Douai Society luncheon. During the lunch Fr Abbot presented Aubrey Balhetchet, an Old Dowegian, with his belated sporting colours, in the form of a waistcoat. Jacksons of Reading, who supplied our former school's uniforms back in the day, found the original colours' fabric in its storeroom, but not enough to make a blazer. There was, however, enough for a waistcoat. Aubrey has the distinction of the only colours waistcoat in the school's history.
» After joining Fr Abbot and Abbot President Christopher last Monday at Downside as part of the visitation of that community, Fr Oliver travelled on to Belmont Abbey for a meeting of monastic bursars, from which he returned on Thursday. The next day he was in Oxford to give a well-attended talk to the Friends of Christ Church on priest-poets.
» Last Thursday we were able to welcome Fr Oswald, prior of St Benet's in Oxford, along with Br Benedict of Ampleforth, for lunch. Br Benedict makes his solemn profession this coming Saturday at Ampleforth. Ad multos annos!
» Last Saturday Cheam School used our abbey church for their First Communion Mass. Also on Saturday Fr Hugh went to our parish in Studley to help with the Masses there while Fr Benedict recovers from a blood clot. The previous two weekends Fr Oliver and Fr Alban offered the same assistance. Thankfully Fr Benedict is making a good recovery.
» Fr Gabriel reports that a sort of workers' rebellion in two of our beehives has led to workers laying eggs rather than just the queens. This spells doom for a colony so he will attempt to put down the rebellion and retrieve whatever can be from the two colonies.
» Today a group of clergy of the diocese of Nottingham, along with their Bishop Patrick McKinney, are coming to stay for a retreat this week.