Ministry Team Visit to Clare Priory
On Wednesday 29th November the Ministry team accompanied by Mrs Dodds and Father John visited Clare Priory for a frosty pilgrimage.
We had the opportunity to find out all about the history of the Augustinians and Clare Priory from Father George who is a friar and the parish priest. He told us about the origins of the Augustinian order from the time of St Augustine of Hippo and how the order came to Clare Priory in the thirteenth century. Founded in 1248, Clare Priory was the first house of the Augustinian Friars in England and is now a parish and retreat centre run by the Friars and the Priory community.
The Priory community live according to the Rule of St. Augustine. The Rule of Saint Augustine emphasises the need to search for God together in order to achieve oneness of mind and heart. As Saint Augustine writes, ‘Before all else, live together in harmony, being of one mind and one heart on the way to God.’
The calm, prayerful atmosphere was the perfect backdrop for our pilgrimage. We found out how icons are written, the ghost story of Hugh of Bury and the importance of the shrine to our Lady of Good Counsel.
The ministry team had a chance to explore their mission and create living reminders. The day finished with a prayer service led by Father John and with live music from Chris Gent. Our governor, Frances Massey, joined us in her role as a parishioner at Clare.
The children said they had thoroughly enjoyed the experience: Sophia liked finding out about the old church and how the new church was created from it; Daniel enjoyed the ghost story; Kuba found the old altar in the ruins fascinating and Beatrice’s favourite part was the prayer service together.
James summed up the spiritual experience of the day when he said, “I liked the old church because it made me feel like I was in the presence of the Holy Spirit.”