The second day of our Volunteers Week events has been an absolute cracker, with our volunteers treated to a tour of the sacristy, talks from outside speakers and a walk around the monastery gardens with Fr Leo. 

The sacristy here at Downside Abbey is the largest in the country, and within it are some beautiful vestments, some of which were shown to our volunteers. On display was the Cappa Magna, worn by abbots, cardinals and other selected prelates, the 16th century Glover chasuble and vestments from the convent at Haslemere. 

The volunteers were also lucky to hear short talks from Rodney Jagelman, Master of the Worshipful Company of Glovers, and Rosemary Harden, curator of the Fashion Museum in Bath. On loan to the Fashion Museum is the Glover Company’s collection of gloves, and both Rodney and Rosemary were thrilled to see our Glover chasuble on display. 

This afternoon, Fr Leo took a large group around the monastery gardens, showcasing the diverse natural landscape we have here at Downside. From more formal gardens and lawns to woodland and orchards, the gardens were a treat for our volunteers who had never seen them before. We were even accompanied by squirrels and at one point a deer, highlighting again our proximity to nature here. 

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