Lent At Launde Abbey

Launde Abbey is in the beautiful rolling green countryside of Leicestireshire, UK. In the Middle Ages monks prayed here. Then it was sold as a private dwelling to the Dawson family. This devout, kind-natured family suffered the untimely deaths of many children, but were not embittered. Last century they gave it to the local Church of England Diocese. It is now a conference and retreat centre for two dioceses, and attracts coachloads of visitors to its snowdrop-graced grounds and attractive cuisine. Recently Prince Charles came for its re-dedication after major re-furbishment. This even includes a hermitage in the grounds named 'Oxford and Cambridge' re-located with money from the national lottery! Launde has a musician in residence, maintains three or four daily prayer services, and offers its own programme of retreats. We were its first Lent retreat group.

Our theme for Ash Wednesday was 'ashes to ashes' - we befriended death, losses and diminishments as the route to our true selves in Christ, whose journey through death to resurrection we traced. I illustrated our theme from the lives of some Celtic saints.Tonight a crowd came for candlelit Taize prayer. Tomorrow I return to Holy Island. Yesterday an oil container caused a coach of elderly people to crash on the single lane nearby. Police, ambulance and a relief coach came. That's life. Another reminder of 'ashes to ashes'.

Posted at 14:51pm on 23rd February 2012
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