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Glastonbury & Patmos twinned in perpetuity

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Monastery of Ioannis Theologou, Patmos

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The twinning of Glastonbury & Patmos

Glastonbury and Patmos are world famous and share the distinction of the presence of men, in St Joseph and St John, who knew the living Christ. These men took with them the same message that Christ had taught from those earliest times; the Christianity that Joseph knew and brought to our Britain was the same that John took to Patmos.

Zoé d'Ay stayed on the Holy Island for many weeks during 2007 and she instinctively sensed the parallels between Glastonbury and Patmos. One day during her meditations in the Cave of the Apocalypse Zoé felt these parallels were compelling enough to explore in a more formal way.

Monastery of St John the Theologian, PatmosThe following day Zoé returned to the ancient monastery of St John the Theologian and Evangelist and asked if she could speak with someone who knew English. She was introduced to a monk who had lived very close to Glastonbury many years before. Zoé explained her idea to Father Martinianos that Glastonbury and Patmos should be twinned. Fr Martinianos’ enthusiasm was heart-warming. “I shall arrange an audience for you with our Abbot, Father Antipas, tomorrow morning,” he said. And so he did.

Father Antipas welcomed Zoé warmly and with Fr Martinianos as translator said he knew well the stories of Joseph of Arimathea and the Holy Thorn. Father Antipas said he would be delighted to have a formal bond between Glastonbury and Patmos.

Monastery of St John the Theologian>

Zoé returned to Glastonbury and spoke to the Mayor, John Brunsdon, who encouraged her to present the idea at the next meeting of the Glastonbury Town Council, on August 7th. Her proposal was accepted Patmos formally accepted the Twinning on March 14th 2008.

Zoe D'Ay signing the documents as  Edward James looks onThe initial delegation travelled to Patmos from Glastonbury at the end of May 2008. The Glastonbury group was led by Zoé and she was accompanied by Councillor Bill Knight; Kay Strain; Barry, Rosemary and Iona Clive. The Chairman of Mendip District Council and Deputy Mayor of Glastonbury, Edward James, and his wife Jane James, were surely the stars of the visit – Edward’s family own Weary All Hill, and are therefore custodians of the Holy Thorn. Jane had brought with her three sprigs, still flowering from Easter, of this holy symbol: one for the Abbot of Patmos, one for the Mayor of Patmos and one for Father Martinianos. Edward presented the Mayor of Patmos with a copy of the Glastonbury Town Seal. Documents in Greek and English inviting the Patmos dignitaries to a formal Civic Ceremony in Glastonbury in September 2009 were duly signed and exchanged.

The essence of Twinning is to provide a bridge of goodwill as well as a rich potential for cultural, social, educational and spiritual exchange for all kinds of people who visit these two places for all kinds of reasons.

Glastonbury AbbeyThe Government International Bureau in London informed Zoé of the historic importance of this Twinning - it is the very first Twinning between Great Britain and Greece; and for it to be the two places most sanctified by the earliest of Christian saints of each land is truly remarkable. Because of this the Twinning of Glastonbury and Patmos is classified as a Twinning in Perpetuity.

Anyone wishing to know more about this historic Twinning is most welcome to contact:

Zoé d'Ay
phone: 0044 (0)1458 832 658
email Zoe

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