One of my favourite walks is between Clare and Bury St Edmunds, set up by the council (details onthe Long Distance Walkers’ Association site.)I take the 9am bus from Bury and start by a visit toClare Priory .This Augustinian community was revived after it was repurchased in 1953 and the infirmary was used as a church. This was extended and a modern building was consecrated in 2015. It is a truly beautiful space with a rare sense of calm.
The original church is now a ruin, but very much part of the scene.I wanted to stay longer, and would like to meet the Augustinians, as I realise I know nothing of either their practice or that of the Benedictines who founded the Abbey in Bury. Their website explains the benefit of community:
“The Rule of St. Augustine emphasises the need to search for God together in order to achieve oneness of mind and heart:
“Before all else, live together in harmony, being of one mind and one heart on the way to God.”Rule of St. Augustine Ch 1.2″ I had to get on as it takes me roughly seven hours to walk back to Bury St Edmunds. I stopped by the Church of St Peter and St Paul to admire the doorway with the Ten Faces of the Green Man , rather worn but at least ignored by William Dowsing when he violated the place in 1643 The footpath is much easier during the summer when it is dry, and the countryside is a fine place for meditation. Apart from one lost cyclist (trying to find Dalham) I met no-one all day. The paths are reasonably well-kept, with ways across the fields kept free, but not always obvious from signs if you didn’t know the way. Compared to the camino ways in Spain this could be improved.