Church Notices

Beaulieu Travellers Trip to Northern France


Rouen 3Rouen 1Rouen 3

Our enthusiastic band set off on their adventures to Northern France at 6 a.m. from Beaulieu Abbey Church carpark on Monday 15th May.  Our coach took us to Portsmouth from where we enjoyed an uneventful and easy crossing to Caen and a pretty drive to Evreux, the old capital of Normandy, where our group of 24 stayed for the visit.

All our trips, while we were in Northern France, were about one hour’s drive from Evreux.  So, on our first day we headed towards Giverny and the stunning gardens created by Claude Monet (1840-1926) which he painted many times during all seasons of the year in different lights. 

This was really overwhelming in both its symmetry and wild abandon.  A formal garden was laid out in front of the house and then beyond this was the wild garden with ponds, wilderness and, of course, water lilies and the famous Japanese bridge. We were a little early for the water lilies to be in bloom. However, beautiful sunshine and a sympathetically described talk by our guide Ariane brought the gardens and Monet’s story to life.  He was an extraordinary painter, perhaps the first Impressionist, and a visionary gardener leaving a legacy for everyone to enjoy.

We all visited his house, too, appreciating the welcome of a sunshine yellow kitchen and his spacious studio with the glorious views of the garden.

Each day we visited a new destination so, on Wednesday, we found ourselves on the way to Rouen, the medieval town which welcomed us into the iconic and historic story of Jeanne d’Arc, (1412-1431).  The newly opened museum graphically shared her story in son et lumière. We visited the ruins of the old church in the square where Joan had been burnt at the stake by the English following her capture, imprisonment and trial after failing to take Paris for her King. The guilty verdict to the charge of blasphemy was reversed in later years. Clearly a powerful character had been at work but much of her story still raises questions although her trial is fully documented and was a widespread attraction at the time. In this square, adjacent to the fascinating building of the covered market, there is now a small, new, modern church, incorporating some of the ancient glass.

The medieval town of Rouen has many extraordinary half-timbered buildings and the great height of the Cathedral welcomes you into its vast space with its variety of windows of which some are old, some new and some clear. Again, ancient glass has been well used.  The restoration work achieved since the heavy bombing of WW 2 is absolutely superb. Many of the sculptures originally on the outside walls are now housed inside. One tomb we found fascinating was that of our King Richard the Lionheart which, apparently, houses just his heart.

Our third and last day was spent sharing the excesses of the Sun King at Versailles.  Originally a hunting lodge, when Louis XIV (1638-1715) moved the French Court from Paris out to the wild and extensive area around Versailles, it is now overwhelming opulence. He would have had no idea that later that century would see the French Revolution and the end of the French Monarchy.  This would have been an unthinkable idea for a man who considered himself an absolute monarch with his power coming directly from God.

Much of the outside is in the process of being re gilded and certainly shone brightly in the sunshine. We all enjoyed the magnificent rooms and pictures in the palace while the uncrowded gardens gave light relief. A small train took in a visit to the Grand and Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette’s own estate in the palace grounds. Some of the group were very impressed by the mews which housed a variety of coaches and carriages.

Our last jolly evening was spent all dining together in La Gazette in Evreux, a most enjoyable French restaurant with a delicious menu including amuse bouches and macarons. 

During our return trip to Caen we stopped for light lunches in an extremely quiet , very old, small village named Beuvron-en-Auge. Then it was on to the ferry for the return crossing, which was as smooth as the outbound, followed by Dave’s last duty of getting us back to Beaulieu by 10.30 p.m.

The 24 of us who travelled on this journey of adventure felt that we had experienced a very enjoyable blend of culture, religion, history, art, horticulture, gastronomy, laughter and special friendship.  A truly special mix in a short few days.






Sea Sunday - 9th July

SEA SUNDAY  9th July 

The Service will be at Bucklers Hard at 6.30pm by the water’s edge. The Beaulieu Band and the Abbey Choir will lead the hymn singing and there will be a guest speaker, Revd. Bill McCrea, former chaplain to the Sailor’s Society. 

Easter Services 2017

Easter Services in the Benefice of Beaulieu, Exbury and East Boldre

Sunday  9th April  PALM  SUNDAY

8.00am        Buckler’s Hard                  Holy Communion

9.30am        Meet at Beaulieu School    PalmSunday Parade   

10.30am      Abbey Church                   Combined Benefice Sung Communion

6.30pm        Abbey Church                   CHORAL EVENSONG 

Wednesday 12th  April

10.30am       Abbey Church              Holy Communion                       

Thursday 13th April    MAUNDY THURSDAY                                      

6.30pm      Abbey Church Chancel   SUNG Communion - Including the Washing of Feet, then  ‘The Watch Vigil’ until 9.00pm.If you would like to be included in the ‘Washing of the feet’ please let Fr John know via the office by Tuesday.   

Friday 14th April         GOOD FRIDAY 

10.00am     St Katharine’s, Exbury    Walk of Witness leaving St Katharine’s Church at Exbury and arriving at Home Close, where we shall enjoy soup.  

2.00pm       St Paul’s, East Boldre     An hour’s Devotion

7.00pm       Abbey Church                Sing Stainer’s Crucifixion                                             

Sunday  16th  April      EASTER DAY

8.00am         Buckler’s Hard              Holy Communion

9.30am         Abbey Church               Sung Communion

11.00am       St Katharine’s, Exbury   Holy Communion

11.00am       St Paul’s, East Boldre    Holy Communion 

Heritage at Risk - St Katharine's Church, Exbury

Exbury’s beautiful Grade II Listed St Katharine’s Church has been a place of worship for over the past 200 years, and continues to reach out to the local community providing a church for marriage, baptism, funeral and memorial services in addition to regular Sunday worship.  

The church building now has fundamental structural problems. The stonework has been badly eroded and unless action is taken urgently, the building will continue to crumble and become unusable. Indeed it is now on the English Heritage ‘At Risk’ Register, which is an indication of how serious the problems are. In response to this situation, an Appeal Fund was launched in May 2016, with an ongoing programme of events and activities planned.

If you can help with the appeal, help with fundraising events or if you have any practical skills you would be happy to offer towards the actual restoration, then contact 023 80 4608.

Action is needed now in order to preserve what is part of local heritage so that future generations, regardless of their beliefs, can still enjoy this place in whose building and grounds an oasis of peace and tranquillity can be found.

"Peacebuilding and Bach - Sat 18th March in the Abbey Church

"Peacebuiding and Bach"

 Saturday 18th March at 7.00pm in the Abbey Church. 


The Revd Donald Reeves MBE, formor Rector of St James' Piccadilly and founder director of "Soul of Europe"will give a presentation entitled "Peacebuilding and Bach".

Donald will be playing some of Bach's chorale preludes, interspersed with stories of peacebuilding in the Balkans, please put this date in your diary, we are assured of an insightful and challenging evening.