Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Going on retreat at Belmont Abbey

Earlier today I travelled from Oxford over to the Benedictine abbey at Belmont on the western edge of Hereford for what is planned as a combined retreat and pilgrimage holiday. This has been arranged for the Brothers of the Secular Oratory of the Oxford Oratory by our Prefect, Fr Jerome Bertram C.O.

The journey across the Cotswolds and then through the lush countryside of Herefordshire was a relaxation in itself and the car I was travelling in managed to arrive just in time for Vespers in the Abbey church despite the potential perila and pitfalls of undertaking ajourney at Friday teatime.

We are staying within the monastic enclosure and taking our meals with the monks so as to follows their horarium. Vespers this evening was my first opportunity to actually attend a service in the monastic church as on my previous stays at Belmont that was out of action due to a major renovation and refit.

Our rooms are quietr and restful, and well appointed and I look forward to the chance to rest and re-create here. I hope the others enjoy their visit - Belmont was my suggestion and apart from Fr Jerome, who came here for his own retreat earlier in the year, none of the others have visited the abbey before.

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Belmont Abbey

Image:Belmont Abbey

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