Brother Gildas, Caldey Island: Monasticism Must Expand


Brother Gildas phoned me on Monday.  His monastery on Wales’ Caldey Island permits him to meet archeologists on the mainland who discover more about ancient Celtic sites in Wales.

They think Whitesands Bay was once The Great Port, from which many went to and from Ireland.  At the top of a nearby hill is a large house in which Graham Sutherland once lived.  It is named Twyn Gwyn (White House) and Gildas thinks it might have been one of Wales’ many early White House monasteries.

He told me of another find, an ancient well which they think was originally dedicated to Saint Antony the Egyptian desert father. He meets with Canon Patrick Thomas, an expert on early Egyptian influences on Welsh Christianity.

Brother Gildas believes that monasticism now needs to expand.

He told of a conversation with Archbishop Rowan Williams who stayed at Caldey. The Archbishop told him ‘Its about time we blew the dust ofF the Celtic saints because they are the model for the modern church’.

I was honoured to learn that the public meal-time readings for the Caldey brothers are currently from my autobiography: Monk in the Marketplace.

I hope more people in vows with the Community of Aidan and Hilda will book in there. They re-open to visitors after Easter.

Posted at 07:43am on 7th September 2021
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