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The National Forest’s LANDshapes project interview with Fr. John Paul Sanderson

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LANt015 Fr. John Paul Sanderson
LANDshapes Oral History interview summary

Getting a "clip round the ear" at the age of twelve didn't put this Monk off of his vocation! But Father John Paul Sanderson may never have come to Mount St Bernard Abbey if a friend hadn't "got fed up" with him talking about his feelings towards the monastic way of life and arranged a visit! John Paul explains the origins of the abbey and the Cistercian Order to which he belongs ..."just quite normal people you know", but this is no simple story of peace and prayers, the 'community' had many adventures across the world before they could begin to farm their Forest acres.... not an easy task among the "wild heath and moors" of Charnwood, where the brothers had to take stones out of the ground as they ploughed the rocky landscape to "build walls and start to make fields on the property". Hard workers with a belief in manual labour in addition to study and prayer, John Paul often gets to be outside, he explains that he feels a great sense of communion "out there walking in the woods". Listen as John Paul explains how the monks used to converse in sign language - in the old days Mount St Bernard was a completely silent community. And what was that about a 'communal coffin'.........

Interviewer: Roger Kitchen.
Interview Date: 01/03/2005
Landshape Zone: Leicestershire and Derbyshire Coalfield
Parish: Coalville and surrounds
Location: Coalville, Leicestershire,
Date of birth:1967
Location of Original: Originals held with The National Forest Company.
Reference LANt015

Photo of Fr. John Paul Sanderson

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Last updated: 15/9/2005
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