A Sixth Century Cross Carved in Granite

A cross carved in granite surmounts the column separating a double window at the south end of the sixth century narthex.

Clouds and Scattered Sun

In mid-January, low lying clouds brought a dusting of snow, and then a light rain. As the clouds began to lift, patches of sunlight could be seen breaking through the clouds and moving across the mountains.


Where to Light a Candle is to Pray

John Betjeman’s poem ‘Greek Orthodox’ was first published in London Magazine, New Series, October/November 1971 (volume 11, number 4). It was later included in A Nip in the Air (London: John Murray, 1974).

To the Reverend T P Symonds

What did I see when first I went to Greece? Shades of the Sixth across […]

Candle Making Part Two

Bees smell the beeswax, and there are always a few flying around.

An enamelled pitcher is used to transfer melted wax from the barrel to the dipping vat. The wax needs to be kept at a consistent level.

Excess wax drains back into the vat. There is smoke in the air from the […]

Candle Making Part One

Bassem has been given the task of making candles for the monastery. He makes them in the afternoon, usually one day per week.

Stubs of candles are brought from the church, and beeswax from the previous candle making session is cut into pieces.

These are slowly melted in a barrel that has a […]