June 2007 I found myself on the Island of Patmos, the topmost of
the group of Greek islands known as the Dodecanese. Found is right,
as it was circumstances that had, in the manner of Odysseus’
voyaging, blown me there.
I was charmed by the island and decided to stay for
some weeks. Choosing a quiet day, when the cruise ships were not
in the harbour, I visited the Cave of the Apocalypse where St John
wrote his Book of the Revelation. I was quite, quite alone in the
Cave, the solitary monk in attendance having left me awhile. Relaxing
into a meditative state I received the distinct impression I was
being told to twin this holy island of Patmos, with Glastonbury,
and a fleeting vision of saints drifted by. No! I said, crisply,
not my role.
But the vision persisted and so, on the third day,
obedient to its dictates, I went up to the Monastery of Ioannis
Theologou and asked if I could speak with a monk in English. Lo
and behold came Father Martinianos, who floored me by saying he
had been a locum at the old Mendip Hospital. He would, he said,
make an appointment for me to meet Father Antipas the Abbot of Patmos
the following day.
My inner smile expanded and my saintly shades left
me to get on with it. And just over two years later here we are,
having overcome as many trials and stormy seas as the legendary
Greek hero, celebrating this unique “Twinning in Perpetuity”
the first between Great Britain and Greece.
May the enduring spirit of friendship link us in perpetuity.
Zoé d'Ay, Glastonbury