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The Wonder Years..how much of this life can we do? : My night with the Monks!

Friday, 20 September 2013

My night with the Monks!

Let me tell you about my evening, last night.. as I did something I've never done before. I visited St Albans Abbey, by night with a friend. The pair of us arrived a little late, so missed the drinks in the Abbots Kitchen where I'd been told we'd be met by a Monk! However, we snuck in the snake of people making their way to the huge front door. At first the pair of us weren't sure quite what we were about to experience as the first Monk we encountered made a gag outside the Abbey, that his fellow Monk had been on the wine as we were queuing up in front of the wrong door!

Once he'd explained that ahead of us was a trip back in time, we enterted the incredible Abbey, lit by candel light. With insense burning filling the nostrils it was indeed a wonderful spectacle. If you get the chance, you must go and see it by night. One by one the Monks did their bit, explaining the story of the Abbey and their roles in its maintenance. Did you know the Abbey costs ¬£3000 per day to run!

My pal and I were a little confused by the Monk named 'Walter' as he explained he'd been in St Albans for 20 years, but then went on to describe how he was responsible for painting the ancient mural on the wall above us. The penny then dropped, he was playing a role.. Slow on the uptake I know. The whole time we were in the Abbey, we could hear the choral abilities of the Monks being played out and we learnt how they pray 8 times a day.. a fascinating and humble existence. 

The tour was brilliantly done, although we left still confused as to whether the Monks were actors or not as they were so charasmatic and intriguing. I hadn't any expectation of what I thought a Monk to be like seeing as my only reference point of a Monk is Friar Tuck and do you remember the episode from Sex in the City - where Samantha keeps meeting a Monk.. she calls Friar F**k...!!

It highlights the effort the Abbey are putting in to draw visitors as we should be proud of it's history. Also if you've not yet heard St Albans has its first Fashion Week in November, so you will see the Abbey in a whole new light again. Make sure you follow @StAFashionWeek

If you'd like to go on the candlelight tour, you still have time - all the details are here http://www.stalbanscathedral.org/visit/tours/abbey-by-night-tours

If you didn't hear when I got to see the Magna Carta, whilst it was on display at the Abbey, listen here..

Until the next time N x

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