This page provides periodic updates of
what is taking place at the Abbey (please click on the photographs
to see larger images).
We were in celebration
mode again on the Feast of St Teresa of Avila, when we gave thanks
for Sister Diana Mary's Diamond Jubilee of Profession. Sister spent
almost all of her years as a Religious in Africa but chose to return
home to the UK when our Priory in Lesotho closed some 41 years after
she went there.
on the photograph to see a larger image
The month began with
a Sister participating in A Day for Religious at West Malling
Abbey in Kent. It was a celebration to mark the first year of the
resident Anglican Benedictine nuns' second century at the Abbey.
Religious from various Anglican Communities gathered to consider the
values which motivate and sustain them and to explore how we can
offer these resources to other traditional and new Communities. Our
Sister found it an enjoyable, interesting and worthwhile day and
appreciated time spent in small groups sharing thoughts on the day's
theme. For example, simplicity and stability were experienced as
valuable in our common life of prayer, Offices, meals and friendship
as they provide an ordered framework for our lifelong journey
together. One participant put it this way: "The adventure of
seeking God, of following after Jesus who is always ahead and always
calling us to new paths, is an important commitment in our lives of
loving support of one another".
At the very end of
the month, with the death of our Sister Dorothy Mary in her mid 80s,
we saw the climax of just such a life. Coming to the UK from
Australia nearly 60 years ago, before the marvels of modern
communication, she found in God and in company with other Religious
a way that took her home to her Lord along a route which, in her
final six or seven years, led her via total dependence on carers. At
the same time she spoke without words - to those who spent time with
her - of the reality of Immanuel, God with us, the Dedication she
had taken so many years previously when she made her Life Vows.
The month ended
with an Australian guest, who has been sharing in our life for three
months, making her Promise as a Companion of the Society on Sunday
30th. She heard about Burnham Abbey from an Anglican Priest
Companion of SPB who emigrated to Australia some years ago. We had
known him for many years and he had become a Companion prior to
emigrating. More remarkably, another Anglican Priest Companion, who
has also lived in Australia for a long time, happened to come over
to the UK and visit the Abbey for a few daysí retreat while
our guest was here. A conversation revealed that both men knew each
other during their ordination training days in the UK! All three are
currently in resident in Western Australia, so we expect to hear of
them holding Area Meetings before long!!
Feast of the
Please click here
to read the sermon given by the Revd Sue Smith on the Feast of the
Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ on 1
July 2017 at Burnham Abbey.
of the beautiful flowers from the Feast of the Precious
for details of a Quiet Day held at Burnham Abbey on 10 June led by
the Revd Hilary Campbell (Companion SPB) entitled "The Power of
Early morning visit to
the Easter Garden after the Vigil...
The sermon preached at the
Christmas Midnight Service at the Abbey (by the Ven Jonathan
Chaffey, Chaplain-in-Chief and Head of the Royal Air Force Chaplains
Branch) may be read here.
is drawing to a close and the Crib is ready for Christmas
Eve and its climax - Midnight Mass.
additional animals are some of the endangered species that
find a place in our prayers for this troubled but
essentially beautiful world.
group of ladies known as
Holy Stitchers, from St. Peter's Church, Burnham, joined the
Sisters one morning for the Eucharist and were delighted to see the
beautiful banner made by them for the 750 / 100 Anniverary year
adorning the north wall of Chapel.
St. Luke's Day,
being the Community's 111th birthday, was chosen for the last
in the series of special Anniversary celebrations in 2016. A goodly
number of the Community's friends and supporters who had not been at
any of the earlier events were invited to attend the Eucharist and
to join the Sisters for coffee afterwards.
From its foundation until the 1960s,
Burnham Abbey was situated in the parish of St Peter, Burnham. With
this in mind, members of that congregation were invited, with
various local friends, to come and see areas of the Abbey and its
gardens which are not generally open to visitors. Nearly 60 people,
half of them from St. Peter's, enjoyed walking round in the sunshine
on the afternoon of 13 August, learning something of the Abbey's
long history and being refreshed with tea and biscuits. Many spoke
appreciatively of this opportunity and several took advantage of the
Sisters' offer to leave requests for prayer, intercession being
central to the Community's vocation.
Two weeks later, it was the turn of
members of the congregation of St. Andrew, Cippenham - originally a
daughter church of St. Peter's - and the parish in which the Abbey
is now situated, to participate in this year's celebrations. For
some years, St. Andrew's has come to the Abbey on two or three
Sundays each year for a joint Eucharist with the Sisters so this
time it was decided to invite them to come on 28 August when the
Community celebrated not only their special anniversaries but also
the Solemnity of St. Augustine of Hippo, on whose fourth century
monastic Rule their own is based.
service was followed by a bring-and-share lunch and proved to be a
happy time of fellowship, again with a chance to enjoy the garden.
sermon preached at the Abbey on 28 August by the Revd Janet
Minkkinen, Incumbent of of St Andrew, Cippenham may be viewed here.
On 2 July, Oblates,
Companions and Friends joined the Sisters at Burnham Abbey for a day
to celebrate the 750th Anniversary of the signing of the Foundation
Charter of the Abbey and the 100th Anniversary of the first
Eucharist being celebrated here by the SPB Sisters, following their
arrival in 1916. Full details of this day and the other celebrations
may be viewed on the
Companions of the
Community of the Resurrection came to Burnham Abbey for a Quiet Day
looking at the power and peace of the Holy Spirit, using the
facilities of the Emmaus Room. The Day was lead by the Revd Sally
Lynch, Vicar of St Luke, Maidenhead, who also acted as the celebrant
at the morning Eucharist (The Superior of CR, Fr George Guiver, is
Community Counsellor to the Society of the Precious Blood).