Sunday, May 01, 2005

Caldey

There are no Orthodox churches in Tenby, but on the lovely island of Caldey, just off the coast of Tenby, there is a Monastery.

Caldey has been inhabited since Stone age times, and artefacts and human remains have been found from this period. In the small museum on the island, you can even see the pelvis from a woolly Rhino, which DD3 thought was wonderful, LOL.

There have been monks on Caldey from ancient celtic days, and there was a renowned monastery on the island flourishing in the 6century AD which had close connections with the monastery of St Illtyd in Llantwit Major.

St Samson was the second Abbot of Caldey monastery and is regarded as the island`s patron saint. Other saints closely associated with the monastery are :-
St David himself, d 600 AD, Feast March 1st

St Paul of Leon who went from Caldey to become a missionary in Brittany and founded a monastery there on the island of Ouessant. D 575AD, Feast March 12

St Gildas the Wise d 570 , Feast 29 Jan

St Brieux (Brioc, Brieuc) died c 510. He was educated by St German of Auxerre, and later moved to Brittany where he founded two abbeys, one at Trequier and the other at St Brieuc.
Feast May 1st.

St Malo, who eventually migrated to Brittany and became first bishop of Aleth (now St Malo).
D 640 AD, feast November 15th.

With the 16th century Dissoution of the monasteries, Caldey also suffered and fell into disrepair. A new monastery was built in the early 1900s and the original Anglican monks became RC. The new monastery is currently owned by the Cistercian Order, who in fact own the entire island :-)

No cars are allowed on the island, but you do occasionally see people whizzing round on sit-on lawnmowers, which is hilarious.
The island is so peaceful it is impossible to describe.

There are lay people on the island who help the monks; there is a tea-room, a post-office and museum, a gift shop, a perfumery where fragrances are made from the wild island flowers by the monks.
There is even a tiny chocolate factory, which produces 800-1000 bars of chocolate each day, run by a lovely man named Frank.
Any money made by these activities goes to pay the bills of the monastery and any surplus is then donated to charity.
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