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Latest News at Buckfast Abbey

St. Thomas More's hair shirt now enshrined for public veneration


BUCKFAST, England (CNS) -- The hair shirt worn by St. Thomas More as he contemplated a martyr's death in the Tower of London has been enshrined for public veneration. The folded garment made from goat's hair was encased above an altar in Buckfast Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in southwest England. St. Thomas, a former lord chancellor of England, wore the shirt while he was incarcerated in the Bell Tower of the Tower of London while awaiting execution for opposing the Protestant reforms of King Henry VIII. He was beheaded July 6, 1535, after telling a crowd gathered on London's Tower Hill that he was "always the king's good servant, but God's first." Benedictine Abbot David Charlesworth told Catholic News Service Nov. 21 that the shirt had not been shown in public before.


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The first review of the recent Abbey Choir CD recording from Mark Sealey of Music Web International:

"This is a compelling collection of over twenty Hymns of the Divine Office."
"There is a certainty and confidence in each relatively short work."
"The directness and clarity achieved by the Choir of Buckfast Abbey under Philip Arkwright amply support this plain purpose."
"They preserve the beauty and richness of both text and melody - largely by appealing to the lucidity of the melody coupled with the import of the text."
"Arkwright, who was born in 1983 and appointed Organist and Master of the Music at Buckfast in 2013, keeps a tight ship. One knows at least that one is in good hands."
"The works are of great beauty and convey a certainty."

"The acoustic is the oft-recorded one of Buckfast Abbey, Devon - which is a modern reconstruction dating from the early part of the twentieth century - with a beautiful balance of resonance and penetration."

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