Do we welcome strangers?

Do we welcome strangers?

In a world completely obsessed with outcomes and tasks and strategies, one of the responsibilities of any leader is to create an ethos within which good things can happen. 

 I think that we believe that far too much of our life and work can be enabled through control or management.  Perhaps there are some signs of rebellion against this view of what life is reduced to in the light of lists and commands and all of the other paraphernalia of a managed life.


When I consider and reflect upon the life of Temple Balsall over these 800 years or so one of the themes that runs through our history is concern for the welfare and convenience of travelling strangers.  This place has been an expression of monastic hospitality.  There is native tradition in Wales of perchentyaeth, a word whose associations defy an exact English translation, but which may be roughly rendered as ‘the art of maintaining a bounteous household’. The connotations emerge from an English translation of a document which comes from the monastic community of Valle Crucis in mid Wales. 


Perchentyaeth – hospitality within which people can feel welcome and at home, a key part of the life of any community or household.  I hope that Temple Balsall might continue to cherish this aspiration within its life and welcome. May our household be always bounteous!

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