Aboyne woman’s help for abbey extension

The Pluscarden monks will perform at the fund-raising concert
The Pluscarden monks will perform at the fund-raising concert

A kind-hearted Aboyne woman has organised a concert to raise money for monks who hope to build an extension to their abbey to welcome people on retreat.

The event will be a rare chance in this area to see the Benedictine Monks from Pluscarden Abbey, near Elgin, the only medieval working abbey in the UK, perform their Gregorian chant.

Catherine Robertson Ross MBE, who is known locally for her fundraising efforts for military charities, was approached by the director or the Pluscarden Abbey Pilgrimage for her help.

The Benedictine Monks are trying to raise funds to allow them to build an extension to the abbey to allow women and those with carers to be able to visit on retreat.

As part of their effort to build the extension they will be going on a pilgrimage.

Catherine has organised a classical concert at St Mary’s RC Cathedral, Aberdeen, on April 12, the week of Holy Week.

She said seeing the monks chant is “really quite special”.

Catherine continued: “Until I was asked for my help, I had never met a monk and when I did I was quite taken by the work and the life they lead.

“The Benedictines are known for their devout faith, serving God.

“The abbey is opened to anyone who wished to stay on retreat, no matter what their faith, or indeed should they have no faith.”

Also performing at the concert is the Polish Choir Musica Caeli, pianist and music teacher at Banchory Academy Blair Cargill, soprano Moira Docherty and violinist Remus Stana.

Pluscarden Abbey was built in 1230 by the King of Scotland Alexander 11 Pluscarden Abbey.

The Benedictine Monks’ pilgrimage will be leaving France on the June 1, returning to the Abbey on September 1. The Patron of the Pilgrimage is HRH Princess Michael of Kent.

The money raised from the concert will go to Pluscarden Abbey. Tickets are £10 and children under 12 go free.

The abbey is looking for donations and sponsorship for their pilgrimage. For more information or to buy a ticket contact Catherine on cylross@aol.com or by calling 07879 854 927.