Monday, August 11, 2014

Buckfast Abbey on the BBC

Buckfast Abbey was featured on the BBC's Choral Evensong programme last week and the Vesper service is still on-line today. It was recorded for the Feast of the Transfiguration:

Choral Evening Prayer from Buckfast Abbey, Devon during the 2014 Exon Singers’ Festival – recorded Thurs 31st July (rpt Sun 10th Aug)

Introit: An Introit for Transfiguration (Robin Holloway) (First performance)

Responses: Plainsong

Office Hymn: O vision blest of heavenly light (Coelestis gloriae)

Psalms: 97, 121 (Plainsong; Robin Holloway)

First Lesson: 2 Peter 1 vv16-19

Anthem: Christus Jesus splendor Patris (Massaino)

Second Lesson: Matthew 17 vv1-9

Homily: The Rt Revd David Charlesworth, Abbot of Buckfast

Canticle: Magnificat quarti toni (Palestrina)

Lord’s Prayer (Toby Young ) (First performance)

Motet: Ave Maria (Josquin)

Final Hymn: ‘Tis good, Lord, to be here (Carlisle)

Organ Voluntary: Hymne d’Actions de graces: “Te Deum” (Langlais)

Richard Wilberforce (Music Director)

Jeffrey Makinson (Organist)

Buckfast Abbey was founded first in the 11th century as a Benedictine abbey, and then Cistercians took over. They surrendered the abbey in 1540 and it was used as a quarry after Thomas Cromwell's Court of Augmentations granted it to  Sir Thomas Dennis of Holcombe Burnell. French Benedictines returned to the site in 1882 and built a new abbey, officially opened in 1902, with the abbey church pictured above (from Wikipedia Commons) completed in 1938. Buckfast Abbey sells a tonic wine and raises bees to be self-sufficient.

More information about the Exon Singers' Festival here.


  1. Buckfast Tonic Wine has a bad reputation, but I rather like it. I think it has a slightly chocolatey taste. It reminds me of the French forified wine, Dubonnet.

  2. Well, it does have a French connection, after all!