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House Update – Glasshampton

Christopher Martin cooking lunch

Christopher Martin cooking lunch

Next Monday our inflexible house routine will have to bend slightly in order to accommodate another institution’s equally invariable programme – a local primary school is to make a pilgrimage to the nearest monastery (us) arriving at 10 a.m. and leaving an hour later.  This represents a disruption of the Monday morning’s cleaning activities in that a brother who would normally be occupied with the brothers’ sanitary arrangements will instead be at the service of twenty children and two teachers in introducing them to a way of life instituted here in 1918 by Father William SDC.

Anselm entertaining young pilgrims

Anselm entertaining young pilgrims

They will thus be the most recent members of that gallant band of ‘guests and visitors’ who since that day 94 years ago have toiled up the track or across the field to sample Glasshampton’s delights.  Children have been in short supply – at the dedication of the monastery which was the ecclesiastical recognition of the foundation there were choirboys from the village, between them and the pilgrims next Monday one or two school groups – and that’s all.  Glasshampton is not really a place for children, and is the poorer for it; but their presence is not conducive to Glasshampton’s greatest blessing – silence.

A silence into which, we believe, God speaks to the refugees who come here to list

en from a life of hectic activity and a constant bombardment of noise.  That is one ministry of the house.

In parallel, it serves as a place of prayer for a small group of professed members of SSF – at present mourning the death of one of their number, Nathanael – and for novices, usually in their second year of community life, the present two being Christopher Martin (Chris) and Joseph Emmanuel (Joe).

And what do we do?  We cook, we clean rooms, clothes and bedclothes, floors and tables,

dishes – we pray and sing and preach, we wake and sleep, we grow flowers and vegetables, we go shopping and count the money and spend it.  And listen to peoples’ stories and accompany them on their journeys, send them on their way refreshed with the blessing of God.  f