Posts from 2015

34 Items

Kent Show

by Aelred

Goodness! Chris is up early – I had barely finished reciting the Office. She says we are going to something called the Kent Show to help in the ‘Church Tent’. We head off on the road we take to Dover but then turn off to a place called Detling. Chris is surprised that there is […]

Croquet

by Aelred

Hello! Chris is off to play something called croquet in a place called Chartwell. Apparently this was the home of a very famous man called Winston Churchill who was once Prime Minister. I am intrigued so I thought I would go along. We have a picnic and something to sit on plus a very nasty looking […]

Monday

by Aelred

We are to travel back to England. All this travel is so fast. It would have taken me weeks to do this journey and Chris says we should be home for tea! Chris managed to park the car near Marc’s house and packed everything, including some of the special roses. I checked that we had […]

Sunday

by Aelred

Goodness! Chris has slept in very late; I have been up and about for hours! I am sure it will be better to have a lazy day after yesterday. Most of the English friends have gone back so we spent some time sorting out and packing ready to leave tomorrow. We did walk down to the Square […]

Saturday

by Aelred

Chris got up early. I had been up ages ready for the office but Chris was going across to the House. I was amazed to see that she was wearing a robe rather than the leggings she usually wears. ( I think you call them a dress and trousers.) She also had her church robes. She explained […]

Belgium Again.

by Aelred

Hello! It has been some time since I was able to write to you. I hope you are all having fun in the summer! I had my second trip to Belgium. We got to Dover without problems but then we had to wait for the boat, just like in my day. We did leave on […]

September 2015

by admin

I have just returned from holiday with Alison, and as well as enjoying some time with the family, we had some time just to ourselves. As part of that we explored a new part of Switzerland (which some of you will know has family connections on Alison’s side and where we visit fairly frequently.) We […]

August 2015

by admin

I am sitting by the open window listening to a sky lark! I have not heard one for ages but years ago there were a number nesting in the fields around and when I was walking the dog I used to try to spot them up in the sky. We had cuckoos, too but I […]

Old Books

by Aelred

Hello! O my word! Chris was down in Canterbury recently at the University called Christ Church. She tells me there are two Universities in the City- goodness me! Christ Church was founded by the Church, jusy like Universities in my day. Anyway the room she was in had some really old books in which were […]

July 2015

by admin

Abide with Me. Watching the FA. Cup Final, I was struck by the enthusiasm of that huge crowd as they joined the ‘fans choir’ to sing ‘Abide With Me.’ It is the favourite hymn of Queen Elizabeth, it has been sung on sinking ships, at major sporting events and at the passing of loved ones. […]

June 2015

by admin

As you read this letter, I will be in a distant land having jetted away for our annual holiday, which reminds me of a story which I now share with you.   Young Jimmy returns home from Sunday School and immediately gets out his toy aeroplane and zooms it around the lounge.  His mum asks […]

May 2015

by admin

Politics matters This month’s pastoral letter draws upon resources from Christians in Politics. I attended a fascinating workshop at the Spring Harvest Conference in April facilitated by CiP. More details from www.christiansinpolitics.org.uk When you read this, the UK will be about to go to one of the most hotly contested elections in living memory. Yet […]

June 9

by Aelred

Hello! Today is St Columba’s day. Columba was the first Abbot of an important monastery on the Island of Iona in Scotland. He was Abbot from 563 until he died on this day in 597. Now 597 was the year Augustine landed in Kent so it makes me so cross the history books often say […]

Prayer

by Aelred

Hello! When I was coming back from Flanders I said that I grabbed my Rosary. Because I keep forgetting that your Church does not look to the Pope as head,  I am told you may not know what a Rosary is! Well the rosary is a form of combined prayer and meditation that has been […]

Church

by Aelred

Hello! I keep forgetting that your church is not part of Rome. When I was in Belgium recently Rev. John used something called the Book of Common Prayer and the words were so familiar I was able to recite most of it. Of course in my day all the services were in Latin and many […]

26 May

by Aelred

Hello! Today is the feast of St Augustine. There are two St Augustines which can be confusing! One is Augustine of Hippo but I am talking about Augustine of Canterbury. This St Augustine came to this country in 597 and became Archbishop of Canterbury. Seven years later, in 604, Augustine made St Justus the first Bishop […]

Bromley

by Aelred

Oh my word! I have been invited out to lunch to a place called Bromley College. Guess where that is? Its proper name is Bromley and Sheppard’s College and it is has nothing to do with learning. This College was founded in 1666 by the Bishop of Rochester for widows whose husbands had been priests, and […]

Going Home

by Aelred

Hello! We are packing to go home. Oh dear I am still not sure about the sea! I am pleased to see that Chris has some of Marc’s chocolates. Frieda gave us some soon after we arrived so I have been tasting them through out the week-end. My habit is feeling a bit tight!! We […]

Sunday Morning

by Aelred

Hello, Chris’s friend, John is a priest and so we had a service in the Chapel. There is a family staying with John and Shirley. They are Irish but they now live in Brussels and they  asked if they could join us. Some of the children have been confirmed so they took mass with us. It feels a really […]

Saturday Afternoon

by Aelred

Hello! Chris was away a long time and when she got back she told me she had been to lunch with some friends who were at the meeting. She has to go back to the house to see Shirley so I go with her. This house was built in 1742 and was owned by a […]

Saturday morning

by Aelred

Hello! Chris has had to go to the big house for a meeting so I can stay here and meditate. Sometimes I use Lectio Divina to help understand the scriptures. I read a passage slowly, then re read it. If a word or phrase jumps at me I think about that during my prayers and ask […]

Friday Market

by Aelred

Hello! The people we are staying with, Marc and Frieda, are friends and they have a shop which sells cakes and chocolates. I am looking forward to getting my whiskers around some of those! Chris has a problem which means she cannot eat the cakes but Frieda is making some special ones for her. When we have […]

Travel

by Aelred

Hello, We drove to Dover to find a boat to a place called Dunkirk. Chris says there is a place called Dunkirk near Canterbury so I hope we don’t get confused! We loaded the baggage and climbed into the car, then we were off down a big road which Chris called a motor way. The roads are so much […]

Puzzled

by Aelred

Hello! To be perfectly honest when Chris said we were going to Belgium I was not sure where we were off to. Belgium is not a country I recognise.  Now if she had said Flanders then I would have had a better idea because in my day the Count of Flanders was a very important […]

Travel Plans

by admin

Hello, Chris tells me we are going to Belgium at the week-end. I am not looking forward to crossing the Channel to France. I am told it will only be two hours but I don’t understand how Chris knows the tides and winds will be so favourable; I have never done a crossing so fast. […]

Rochester

by Aelred

Hello, I have just come back from Rochester. There is a festival called the Sweeps Festival When everyone needed their chimneys swept the festival, at the beginning of May, was the Sweeps’ Holiday. They had a 7 foot character called ‘Jack in the Green’ and had a ceremony at dawn on Blue Bell Hill near […]

Cistercians

by Aelred

Hello All, I have been asked why we are called Cistercians. Well our first monastery was founded in a place called Citeaux in France and the name developed from that. There is a drawing of the monastery in the 16 Century. Our very first monastery in England, Waverley Abbey,  was founded in 1128 near Farnham […]

Definitions

by Aelred

Hello, I am told that you do not use Latin in church anymore and very few people understand it so you may not understand the little table of our day which I wrote last time. let me try to explain. Vigils is from the Latin to mean watchfulness as we watch for the new day. […]

Hello Again

by Aelred

Hello again, I told you I am a Cistercian Monk living in Rievaulx in Yorkshire. We are sometimes called White Monks because of our white habit. I wear a black Scapular over my habit to keep it clean. The monks in your Cathedral Monastery in Rochester are Benedictine and wear black habits. We all follow the Rule of […]

Introductions

by admin

 Hello! I am Aelred and I have been asked to tell you a bit about myself. I was born in Northumberland in 1109, the son of a priest. Dad sent me to school at the Scottish Court where I grew up with Prince Henry, son of King David. The King gave me a job when […]

April 2015

by admin

Spring has sprung. The evenings are lighter, the day is longer, the weather is warmer. At least that’s what should be happening at this time of year – along with the April showers which bring refreshment and energy to the growing plants. Life begins to re-emerge and things are all a little greener. (By the […]

March 2015

by admin

The Motherhood of God Reflecting that this is the month of Mothering Sunday I remembered this little story that resonated with my own experience and maybe yours, of being a mother and grandparent, living some distance away with the hope of a card a call or a visit: Sue was glad when the phone rang […]

February 2015

by admin

As I write this, the news is full of the atrocities in France, the subsequent march of over a million people joined by many world leaders, and the consequent government meetings about security. “Je suis Charlie” has been the rallying slogan of the past week or two as the French (and others) seek to identify […]

January 2015

by admin

Another year has gone and a new one lies ahead. Do you look back on 2014 and say ‘Thank God that 2014 is over and I hope next year will be better?’ I know people who do every year and look forward to the New Year as a fresh start, a change of fortune, an […]