After many months of lockdown it was a great joy to be able to begin the process of reopening the retreat house to guests last week. After much planning and consultation the Community welcomed a small number of individually-guided retreatants for a retreat conducted by Oswin and Nicolas, as well as a few individuals who have been enquiring about life in the Community.
One consequence of the great variations of heat and rain we have been experiencing in recent months is a glut of fruit that has been emerging all over the grounds, out of which have appeared gooseberries, blackberries, blackcurrants, raspberries, mulberries, figs and, of course, apples. A good number of lockdown afternoons have been given over to an effort to gather in this great abundance, and through the good offices of Fr Thomas some of it has already begun to appear in the refectory in the form of jam. Added to this, after a flying visit to Stanbrook Abbey in North Yorkshire yesterday, Nicolas, Thomas and Charlie were finally able to collect the juice from last year’s apple harvest, pressed and bottled and ready for sale.