» On the basis of the professional reports received so far, it is alnost certain that the abbey church will not re-open to public events (other than weekeday conventual Mass in the choir and sanctuary) before February. Apart form the awkward repairs to the damaged section of the clerestory windows, many other windows have been found unsafe and so require remedial work to make them safe. Moreover, while we are up there we will attend to the incessant problem leaks in the nave as their cause has been diagnosed and some courses of action determined. What is clearer is that this will cost a significant amount of money. The abbot and community may well launch an appeal to riase some funds to cover the majority share of the costs that will not be covered by insurance.
Therefore the monastic Sunday Masses will continue in St Mary's for the time being.
» Our traditional new year's eve concert by the Rodolfus Choir that was due to be held in the abbey church will now be held at 2pm at Bradfield College, a few miles from Douai. You can find more information by clicking here.
» Normally after the Christmas Eve vigil Mass the community welcomes the congregation into the guest refectory for mulled wine and mince pies. Alas, this year the community has decided the logistics of this in light of the new arrangements for the Mass make preparation for this too burdensome and so we are foregoing it this year. However, the delicious mince pies made for Christmas Eve by our catering manager Sarah will be on sale after Mass tomorrow (Sunday). Bag yourself a windfall treat and buy some tomorrow at monastery reception, where there will be eggs from our ducks, chickens and quails available to buy as well.
» Christmas Day Mass is normally very well attended, indeed so well attended that its normal congregation would not fit in St Mary's. Therefore we strongly encourage those who normally come to Mass here on Christmas Day to look elsewhere this year, for their own sake. We look forward to welcoming everyone back as normal next year!
» Lastly, for those planning to come to Douai in the next couple of weeks, please note that the road that passes outside the monastery gates is to be closed until 6 January. The closure will begin north of the abbey gates to just south of Kiff Green. Therefore the only vehicular access to the monastery will be from the Bath Road, using either Cox's Hill or Woolhampton Hill. The closure is to allow for electrical work to be done.
» On a lighter note, the reception area of the monastery has been cleaned up a little and made a tad more welcoming, and more comfortable for those who need to wait there.