Fr Abbot writes:
With the continuing lockdown, the community has turned to domestic projects in addition to praying for those in need at this time.The large pond in the monastery garden has been stocked with Douai-bred goldfish and the dozen ducks have been allowed to range freely. In the potager, the rhubarb crop is doing well and allowing us lots of crumbles. The chicken eggs continue to be distributed in Newbury.Gravel has been laid in the strip outside the library, on the site where the architect, David Richmond, had designed a long, low wall which was to have been inscribed with the text In principio erat Verbum, "in the beginning was the Word." from St John's gospel. At the moment we haven't sufficient funds to go ahead with this project. At the main reception, a glass door and screen is being fitted as an insulation barrier in an area which can become quite draughty in winter. Nearby, the large grandfather clock's chimes have been partly restored. This clock, about eight-foot high, was purchased around 1900 by Fr Bede McEvoy, then parish priest of St Augustine's in the docklands of Liverpool. It is by Morath Brothers of Liverpool who were having difficulty selling it because of its size, so they willingly took Fr Bede's offer and sold it to him. It graced the monastery/school cloister for a century, and its Whittington and Westminster chimes flooded the cloister every 15 minutes.Finally, a number of Douai parishes are live streaming their Masses because of the current lockdown, and you are invited to join them. They include Fr Godric at Ormskirk, Fr Paul at Alcester, and Fr Hugh at Scarisbrick.