An historic silver chalice is among a number of monastic treasures to have been kept within the church, after they were put up for sale by a group of downsizing Benedictines.
The monks who were moving out of their Abbey in Ramsgate, Kent had to raise funds to help them downsize their living accommodation.
But there was an outcry when other church members realised that historic church artefacts were being put up for public auction.
Now it has been revealed that the treasures will be kept in the church after all, after a private sale was arranged.
The arrangement was announced by the Archdiocese of Southwark, who revealed that many of the items will actually return to the church of St Augustine in Ramsgate, from which they came.
And other items are headed to Farnborough Abbey, where they will have new Benedictine owners. Among the silver wear bought up by Farnborough Abbey is an historic silver chalice dating from 1633.
Treasures returning to Ramsgate include a number of artefacts created by the artist Pugin, who also designed St Augustine’s church.
The controversial sale was announced after the Benedictines in Ramsgate announced that they would have to move out of their Abbey home, and into to a former Franciscan friary in Chilworth, Surrey.
The cost of modern life was blamed for their need to sell the historic artefacts, but it didn’t stop observers complaining that the monks should not be selling important religious artefacts.
The Abbot of Farnborough, Dom Cuthbert Brogan OSB said: “Dominic Winter Book Auctions, the auctioneers, are to be commended for their professionalism and patience in negotiating this sale and for their sensitivity to the concerns of the wider Catholic community.
“All sacred vessels are important. The recusant chalice communicates with a particular eloquence the hardships suffered by Catholics in what are described in the inscription on the chalice as ‘cruel times’. We are relieved that this chalice will remain in appropriate hands.”
February 14th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross