Monks building 'virtual shop'


 The Cistercian monks of Caldey Island in west Wales are constructing a 'virtual shop' on the internet to boost sales of their perfume, pottery and chocolates as well as music and books. Brother Robert told ICN: "We rely on visitors to the island for our livelihood, but when the weather is bad, as it often is, the boats can't come here." He explained that the monastery of Our Lady and St Samson set up their first website last year, and were encouraged by the response from all over the world. "The new site will be dynamic and interactive. People will be able to explore the shop and pay on-line," he said. The range of perfumes made by the monks include: lavender, fern, gorse, brocade, bouquet and Caldey No 1. They are all made from natural, organic sources from the island. Caldey Island is just 555 acres large. It has three churches, ten houses and the monastery. There are 17 monks in the community, which observes strict silence for twelve hours a day. Among their other enterprises they also run a small dairy herd. As soon as the new Caldey Island website is up and running, we will inform readers and build a link to our site.

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