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Nones prayers heard again in ruins of Augustinian Priory

Merton Abbey seal

Merton Abbey seal

Nones prayers services were held in a number of sites related to the historic Merton Priory on Sunday - including Holyrood Abbey the Church of St Laurence Upton, and St Peter de Merton in Bedford.

Representatives of several different denominations took part in the afternoon prayer service in the foundations of the Chapter House of Merton Priory, now under a bypass near Colliers Wood in South London. They were led by Rev Peter Moore and Rev John Fairbank.

Merton Priory was a major Augustinian house from 1117 - 1538 AD. One of its students was Saint Thomas a Becket, and two royal coronations took place there:  Eleanor of Provence in 1236, and Henry VI in 1437. With the church nave longer than Westminster Abbey, the monastic complex was one of the largest and most important in England and a major provider of employment, education and social welfare for the surrounding community for more than 400 years. Its work ended  abruptly at the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1538, when the buildings were pulled down on the orders of Henry VIII. Many of the stones were used in the construction of nearby Nonsuch Place.

Shelia Fairbank from friends of Merton Priory said she felt  the Nones service was an important way for Christians to reconnect with their past and common heritage.

For more information, email:  friendsofmertpri@aol.com