Sep 2008 - Grand Master leads Service of Dedication at Athelstan HouseOn 30 September , we were honoured to welcome HMEH the Grand Master of the Order of Malta, Fra’ Matthew Festing to Athelstan House. Fra’ Matthew kindly agreed to lead a Service of Dedication for the home during his visit. Residents of Athelstan House, together with home staff were joined for the service by Wiltshire members of the Order of Malta and the Venerable Order of St John, volunteers associated with the home, OSJCT Patron Lord Remnant, OSJCT Trustees and Chief Executive Nigel Reed, together with other County and Trust representatives in the heart of the home.
After a brief welcome by OSJCT Chairman, Peter Loyd, Trust Chaplain Dom Aidan Bellenger (Abbot of Downside Abbey and representing the Order of Malta), and the Rev Colin Fox (representing the Venerable Order of St John in the absence of the Very Revd Alec Knight) together conducted a short service, ending with a blessing on the home. Fra’ Matthew then addressed the assembled guests and concluded the Service by wishing all who live and work in the home good health and happiness.
Resident Mr James Clark expressed thanks on behalf of all the residents and staff and presented Fra’ Matthew with a Folio Society edition of ‘The Monks of War’ duly signed to mark the occasion. Fra’ Matthew is familiar with this publication since he actually wrote the foreward when he was Grand Prior of the Order of Malta in England!
Guests were then invited to participate in a delicious buffet lunch prepared by the Home Chef, James Sommerville and kitchen staff, and also had the opportunity to tour the home, talk to residents and see the up to date facilities available.