Day Forty-Two – A Flexible Framework

: Are there parts of the Rule that have had to be laid aside, or put in abeyance during this year when the Brothers are not at the Monastery?

Br Geoffrey Tristram: I suppose we’d have to say yes, at a literal level, but certainly not in spirit. The Brothers living at Emery House, for instance, have had a more or less seamless transition from the Monastery to West Newbury, and we have a long track record there. So while some practices there are modestly different from the Monastery (the times for prayer, for instance), the Rule has still provided the framework for life together there. For those Brothers living in rented accommodation in Cambridge, the challenges have been a little greater: we lack a dedicated space for worship, for instance, and we work at offices a fair distance from both the house and the Monastery (where we meet weekly for construction oversight). We have to plan each day much more carefully, and sadly, we do not observe the full round of worship that we do at the Monastery. But that’s only a temporary interruption, one which will change upon our return later this summer. And it’s important to remember that a monastic rule is not law—it’s a flexible framework.

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