And finally

There is much about the Benedictine mindset which is very attractive – particularly their sense of what it takes to create a balanced life.  I tripped over a definition of a person under stress – excitable, anxious, overbearing, obstinate, jealous, over-suspicious, quite unable to stop.  I think I ticked most of those boxes.  I liked the way in which the Rule describes the role of the Abbot – focused very much on the life of the community and dealing with disfunction.  His guidance and teaching should be ‘almost imperceptible .. like leaven .. so that they think they have taught it themselves.’

And, by coincidence, as I drifted through Anglican-Episcopal World, I found a report of the signing of an agreement on a new ecumenical partnership between Canterbury Cathedral and the Abbey of Bec.  The root of the link is that Lanfranc, Anselm and Theobald were all either Abbots or Priors of Bec and all later became Archbishop of Canterbury.


  1. That sounds surprising … Abbot’s Question Time and all? But to be serious, one wonders whether the very adversarial style of Westminster politics could possibly be related so directly ..

  2. I was brought up worshiping at a church in Middlesex built by Lanfranc and consecrated by Anselm.I learnt during a sabbatical in Canada from John Wortley,Professor of Byzantine Studies at the University of Manitoba, of the colonization of England by Benedictines who came over with Guillaume le Conquerant and how the Westminster style of parliamentary chamber was, he thought, modelled on the Benedictine chapter house.

  3. I’m thrilled to have fallen over this bishop’s blog;
    more so because you clearly link Benedict beyond the walls
    I think monastic spirituality outside the cloister is not only highly Anglican, can help us in our present context, and is a spirituality into this new millennium.
    I write from this vantage point on my site and would be very happy to link between us


  4. I have a nifty little thing that shows me where people have visited my blog from and today I found that someone from “London, Lambeth, England” had followed a link on your blog to mine.

    Very interesting.

    Looking forward to reading more about your stay with the monks.

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