Benedictine and Presbyterian: a shared delight

Posted in Blog, Christianity, Devon

Friday 16 September 2011

I am just leaving for a meeting of Christian writers at Buckfast Abbey. Since time immemorial, deer have been drawn to graze in the sheltered meadows which line the banks of the river Dart in this Devonshire valley. They have quenched their thirst in the cooling waters which flow here from high up on Dartmoor and on towards the sea.

Perhaps because it was a favoured spot for these animals that the people who saw them thought to name the place Buckfast – a word which means a place where deer feel safe.

For nearly a thousand years, people have been drawn here. They have come to search for God. For God who is everywhere, certainly, but as they happened upon this place, they sensed that its beauty, its silence and tranquillity, its community of people who were similarly searching made it a place where God might more easily be found.

The monastic community of Buckfast Abbey is a venue where the monks and all who visit them may search for God. And so the monks chose the words of Psalm 42 as their motto to express their reason for being here and for welcoming all who are searching to drink from the stream of God