Anyway, then we wandered up to Buckfast Abbey. HOH and I spent a good fifteen minutes trying to decide if we had been there before because neither of us could remember. FOW2 looked at us aghast all the way though the conversation and, I think, silently asked God that she would never be like that when she was old. I was determined to see a monk before we left (although apparently it is unacceptable to walk through an abbey singing "And we won't go home until we've seen a monk" to the tune of "Put on your Sunday clothes")
Anyway, we did see one, you can probably just see him in this photo. I know, I know but I'm too shy to be any kind of decent photographer, I would never dream of going up to someone and asking for a photo and I have no idea where the zoom is on the camera. Still, you get the idea - probably.
I had no idea that the abbey was rebuilt having been destroyed after all the unpleasantness with Henry VIII and wasn't actually finished until just before WW2. At first, I was a bit disappointed that we were looking at a comparatively modern building but, as we walked around, I was struck by the enormity of the vision to restore something like this. It really was very impressive. We then sat in the Abbey and listened to a choir practising. Quite lovely. And, as HOH pointed out, although we are not what you would call on the same wavelength, doctrinally with such a high church set-up, both of us felt that we could feel God in the bones of the place. There is a tiny Methodist chapel in the grounds of the Abbey and I wanted to show FOW2 the contrast between the way people worshipped. However, there was a lady doing a bit of vacuuming and she didn't seem best pleased with us because she seemed to want to do a bit of a tour thing and we weren't too keen. I do understand that but it kind of killed my point abut the non-conformist churches growing up because they were more welcoming to the common man. Anyway FOW2 was very nice about it and said she understood and we went off to the gift shop to buy some sherbet lemons instead.