Update from the Director

Published on 24 Mar 2018
St Beuno's seen from the rose garden

by Roger Dawson SJ

A lot has been happening over the last few months at St Beuno’s.  I am delighted to say that two new members of the team have been appointed as Trainee Spirituality Workers.  Shona Cahill starts at Easter and Sister Josephine Badali will start in July.  Both of them completed the Ten Week course in Spiritual Direction last year and we look forward to welcoming them soon. 

We have had three building projects running in the last few months and as I write we are completing the ensuiting of Priests Gallery (2nd Floor) and the newly refurbished Rhewl Cottage is proving popular.  This means we now have an extra 12 ensuite rooms in total.  We have continued also with some of the essential stonework repairs to the fabric of the building.  In my opinion, the stonemasons are unsung heroes, in that they are master craftsmen whose beautiful work is often hidden in inaccessible places, and of course also keeps the building upright and watertight. 

Purcell’s Architects have now submitted their masterplan for the development of the building and this is currently being considered by the Province Trustees.  There are some big (and expensive) decisions to be made, but I am very happy with the imaginative proposals that they have made and their sensitive understanding of St Beuno’s.  I will present these plans at the next Friends’ Weekend in April.

Finally, we are planning some major work on the woodlands that surround the house and grounds at the moment.  It is striking that there has really been no significant work carried out on the woods in the last fifty years and so I asked for a tree survey to be done recently and for the drawing up of a plan for improvement of the beauty of the grounds, wildlife conservation and safety.  As a result of this, we will be doing some major work of felling and thinning in the late spring, which I am told is messy and noisy and ‘it looks worse before it gets better!’  The plan, of course, is to improve the already beautiful grounds both from an aesthetic and environmental point of view, to open up the views of the Vale of Clwyd, support local wildlife and to start to plant more trees for the future. I’ll tell you more about all this in a future newsletter. 

In the next week we will have many joining us here for Easter.  If you are coming, I will look forward to seeing you.  If you are not, I hope that your Holy Week is blessed and that you will be back here soon. 

Fr Roger Dawson SJ