Mothers' Union Meeting – 9th May
Plans were set in motion for an Ascension Day’s visit to the Arch at Dale Abbey. Five cars and 18 people set out to arrive, one after the other, at The Friar’s House where we met up with Roger Allen, who gave us a full and in-depth talk about the Abbey at Dale, starting with the Hermit’s Cave about the year 1130. He moved on to how the Abbey came to be built in Depedale about the year 1200, the first service being held around the year 1204. Building work on the Abbey continued with bits being added until the 1500s. About 15 canons served at the height of its hay day plus lots of local people working on the farmland, and hospitality, medication to the sick, as well as spiritual care to the needy, was provided.
In 1538 everything changed of course, with the dissolution of the monasteries, the wealth going to the Crown and most of the Abbey itself was dismantled. Stonework resulting from this dismantling can be seen today in our surrounding area – i.e. Morley Church, Radbourne and even in canal locks. The font itself is now back in the little church at Dale after many moves.
For about 200 years there were no records of Dale but in 1878 lots of work was unearthed by a Singene Hope Bart. Stonework, tiles and ‘Fred’, a stonework memorial of a monk or canon, can be seen in the Green Hut otherwise known as the Site Museum.
Roger made a splendid job of our talk with lots interesting details – too many to write in full here.
We walked through the village to see and touch the artefacts in the Site Museum and look at the Arch and the area where the cloisters had been and then we made our way to the small church to have a look inside. Services are still held in the church every Sunday afternoon.
While we were in the church Andrea said a prayer to commemorate Ascension Day after which we made our way back to The Friar’s House for freshly made scones with jam, cream and strawberries, and tea or coffee. We can certainly recommend Diane’s hospitality!
Both the Abbey at Dale and the Friar’s House have websites for information about booking visits – www.daleabbey.org.uk and www.friarshousedaleabbey.co.uk. This makes a lovely morning or afternoon outing to one of our very own local landmarks.
A collection of £33.50 from those present went to the work of Christian Aid as a mark of our thanks. Our thanks go also to Diane at the Friar’s House.
For our June meeting we will be hosting the Deanery Festival which is on Thursday, June the 20th, at 2pm. (Please note this is not our usual Thursday.) We will be welcoming members of the Heanor and Erewash Branches so please put the date in your diary.
Yours in Christ,.