Meditation and work in
the volunteers routine

​Through ​February and March, a group of volunteers emptied the Abbey ​to allow ​renovation work ​to begin. They cleaned the farmhouse, to make it ​​habitable​ simple but warm​. Henriette Hollaar, a resident oblate from Mediatio House in London, was part of this team of volunteers:

​Our project with three volunteers ​was ​to complete emptying the Abbey and prepare the farmhouse​ for ​accommodation during the ​next year or so of work. The attic and the basement of the Abbey had still lots of secrets to share. W​e ​found 3000 ​(​empty​ but beautiful)​ ​handmade ​bottles which lay​ ​dormant since the wine production ​at Bonnevaux ​had stopped​ decades ago​. Vintage clothes and furniture turned up as well.

Meanwhile, winter was playing its game and the skin of my hands and face ​felt ​the dry cold. But the sky was clear and after sunset, the night sky ​free from light pollution - as the land has been free from pesticides - ​showed us ​the wonder of the constellations.​ The temperature rose steadily and the smell of Spring energised us.​

We ​agreed on ​our communal meditation times. So we were joined​ regularly ​by meditators from Poitiers and around, which were very supportive​ and joyful​. We ​starting ​using​ the bell on the roof of the farm to ​call ​us ​to ​these times. ​Maybe the first time in centuries the bell has called Bonnevaux residents to prayer! ​We moved out of the Abbey on the 9th of March, ​a bit sad to ​leave behind the wood fire stove, which ​had been a lot of work to keep going but had provided us with warmth and a special atmosphere.
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Community Leaders meet: The Life of the WCCM in the Light of Bonnevaux

​Seventeen l​eaders, older and younger, ​from our global Community ​met at ​the Monastery of Christ our Saviour in ​Turvey  (UK), 16-18 March, to discuss ​our ​challenges and opportunities  in the light of Bonnevaux​. We felt that the community has reached a new point of growth. Bonnevaux reflects this and also gives us the means to respond to it under the leadership of the Spirit.

Everybody caught up on the current project status, ​the ​financial needs for, ​Bonnevaux retreat program plans and the relationship between global and local community​. We had new constructive ideas about the participating of the younger generation in the life and leadership. We left energised joyful and energised by a renewed and clarified sense of common purpose and creative action to share the gift of meditation with future generations.
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What people think on Bonnevaux...

MARY MCALEESE (President of Ireland from 1997 to 2011)
I do not yet know Bonnevaux but Laurence has invited me and as soon as it is ready I plan to visit but I am persuaded that it has many attractive qualities, not least the ancient contemplative origins which infuse its natural beauty with a spirituality which I am sure will touch many an anxious heart and clear many a confused mind. It is a venture worth encouraging and supporting, another light in the darkness, another hearth that welcomes all, another home for the soul. We cannot have too many of them and we have not yet enough. .
We are hugely grateful for all the interest in volunteering at Bonnevaux. Spaces are now full up until August so we won't be taking any more volunteer applications until the late summer / autumn.
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