Fr Abbot Cuthbert celebrated his silver jubilee of profession on the weekend of Laetare Sunday. The original profession fell in the Octave of Easter, but the abbot decided to keep the anniversary in Lent by inviting friends to luncheon and to share the office and Mass of Laetare. At the Mass he sang the Suscipe and renewed his vows. There was a goodly number of friends from the Oxford Oratory and the bulk of the Norbertine community of Chelmsford as well as a contingent of French. All the English abbots of the Subiaco-Cassinese English province were present, and the Abbot of Pluscarden received the renewal of vows. Monks from Ealing and Douai were also present as guests.
In response to a toast proposed by Brother Stephen O.Praem, Fr Abbot gave a short speech. He recounted that his CV would simply read ‘left school, entered the monastery, still there.’ He said that he would recommend the monastic life to anyone, even if his 25 years were still but a drop in the ocean in terms of monastic experience. He said that, in spite of the ups and downs of life, he is a very happy monk and has no plans or dreams other than to remain just that.
Mrs Pippa Peddlingham produced a superbly crafted cake for the occasion. It shows the abbot with his sheep, his bees, and his bindery.