Source: Orthodox Mission
This time last year, I started working to found our Monastery of All Celtic Saints. We had nothing at the time, except what God had offered us – the Church of Sts Ninian and Cuthbert on the Isle of Mull, and the beautiful dream of an Orthodox Monastery in the Celtic Isles.
Please forgive me for what will be a rather boring email, but I want you to know where we are at the end of this first year. You, each and every one of you, have sacrificed something – time, money or prayer – for this common dream to return Orthodox monasticism to the Hebrides. You are part of this story, and I hope you will remain one.
This January 5th, Kilninian Trust – the Trust that manages the Monastery – received the legal status of a registered charity in England and Wales. I have now applied for this charity to also be recognized and registered in Scotland; according to their website, the process could take up to three months.
Once this is settled, we shall be able to buy the five acres of land I fund-raised for while I traveled in the United States (a HUGE thank you to our American friends – we could not have raised this money without you; you are forever in our prayer). By God’s grace, I hope to have this done by the end of May.
Once we have the land, we shall start building the foundation of the future monastic house. We have the money for that, as well. This work will include the actual foundation, the septic tank and the water system.
All that is left now is to raise the money for the actual house. We have decided to buy a prefabricated house, built by a local company in the Isles. It will be made of wood. It will be rather small. It will be cold. BUT it is the fastest way to have some sort of accommodation at the monastery, so that the monastics may move in and start the proper life of the monastery. God will take care of us.
On a personal note, I have applied for a postdoctoral fellowship, so that – for the next three years – I shall do research and teach at the School of Theology at the University of Oxford. This will allow me to continue to fund-raise, by visiting parishes at the weekend, while being able to support myself through my work at the University. This way, I shall not have to spend any of the money we raise in order to support myself. Every penny / every cent we receive will be used to build the monastic house as soon as possible.
Time-wise, I shall continue to fund-raise until I raise sufficient funds to buy the monastic house. I hope and pray that this will not take more than two years, so that we may build the house during my third year at Oxford and we may have a place to live on Mull at the end of my fellowship.
This is a very basic view of what has happened this year. There are endless difficulties at every step, and I have to change and readjust our plans every time something happens. So far, though, God has blessed this Monastery beyond my greatest hopes, and I trust with all my heart that everything – the good things and the bad things – are His ways to guide me in the direction He wants this monastery to go.
For me, the small human being hiding under these monastic clothes, this last year has been the most blessed and full of grace period of my life. I have worked enormously but I have felt protected and loved by God in a way that I have never felt before.
I am also writing this email to say Thank You. Thank You for everything you have given this Monastery, Thank you for everything you have done for Orthodoxy in the Celtic Isles. Please remain close to us and be a part of this wonderful story.
Yours in Christ,