» Last Wednesday Douai was busy indeed with 29 clergy of the diocese here for an Advent day of recollection led by Fr Peter and Fr Paul Lyons. Also here were six Mill Hill missionaries on their own day of recollection with Fr Alban.
» On Thursday we received a request for emergency help from St Andrew's preparatory school in Pangbourne. They had planned their annual carols' service for the next at Bradfield College. However on Thursday Public Health closed Bradfield College completely due to an influenza epidemic. While we are trying to preserve the abbey church from some of the wear and tear it has suffered over the last 20 years, we do allow some schools to hold their carols here. Since St Andrew's had been left high and dry we agreed for them to hold their service at Douai on Friday. All went well and everyone was happy. In the coming week Downe House and Elstree will be holding carols' services in the abbey church as well; earlier last week various local primary schools combined to hold their own service here too.
» Please note that the abbot and commuity are maintaining their practice of the last few years not to be sending Christmas cards, though some individual monks may well send some cards. This is partly an economy measure, and partly it reflects the changed communications landscape with email more and more supplanting traditional post. Our friends and benefactors are always remembered in our prayers, of course, and especially in the Advent and Christmas seasons.