Monsignor Phelim Rowland, parish priest at St Mary’s in Hampstead, kindly invited a choir from Downside Abbey to sing at his mass on St Patrick’s Day.

Afterwards everyone repaired to nearby St Anthony’s Prep School, where we were all guests of Paul Keyte, the Head Master. Simon Johnson, Director of Heritage at Downside Abbey, gave a fascinating talk detailing the Treasures of Downside Abbey, its Archives and Library and its medieval vestments. The talk provided parents and parishioners with an overview of the rich Benedictine heritage and culture at Downside, infused by centuries of Benedictine tradition.

Downside Abbey and School share a Benedictine past, going back to 1606, and the current Head Master, Andrew Hobbs, was also present to talk about the importance of Benedictine values in a modern educational setting. Thank you to Paul Keyte for his generosity as our host and for the delicious lunch enjoyed by everyone.