Glastonbury and Patmos are world famous and share
the distinction of the presence of men, in St Joseph and St John,
who knew the living Christ. These men took with them the same message
that Christ had taught from those earliest times; the Christianity
that Joseph knew and brought to our Britain was the same that John
took to Patmos.
Zoé d'Ay stayed on the Holy Island for many
weeks during 2007 and she instinctively sensed the parallels between
Glastonbury and Patmos. One day during her meditations in the Cave
of the Apocalypse Zoé felt these parallels were compelling
enough to explore in a more formal way.
following day Zoé returned to the ancient monastery of St
John the Theologian and Evangelist and asked if she could speak
with someone who knew English. She was introduced to a monk who
had lived very close to Glastonbury many years before. Zoé
explained her idea to Father Martinianos that Glastonbury and Patmos
should be twinned. Fr Martinianos’ enthusiasm was heart-warming.
“I shall arrange an audience for you with our Abbot, Father
Antipas, tomorrow morning,” he said. And so he did.
Father Antipas welcomed Zoé warmly and with
Fr Martinianos as translator said he knew well the stories of Joseph
of Arimathea and the Holy Thorn. Father Antipas said he would be
delighted to have a formal bond between Glastonbury and Patmos.
Monastery of St John the Theologian>
Zoé returned to Glastonbury and spoke to the Mayor, John
Brunsdon, who encouraged her to present the idea at the next meeting
of the Glastonbury Town Council, on August 7th. Her proposal was
accepted Patmos formally accepted the Twinning on March 14th 2008.
initial delegation travelled to Patmos from Glastonbury at the end
of May 2008. The Glastonbury group was led by Zoé and she
was accompanied by Councillor Bill Knight; Kay Strain; Barry, Rosemary
and Iona Clive. The Chairman of Mendip District Council and Deputy
Mayor of Glastonbury, Edward James, and his wife Jane James, were
surely the stars of the visit – Edward’s family own
Weary All Hill, and are therefore custodians of the Holy Thorn.
Jane had brought with her three sprigs, still flowering from Easter,
of this holy symbol: one for the Abbot of Patmos, one for the Mayor
of Patmos and one for Father Martinianos. Edward presented the Mayor
of Patmos with a copy of the Glastonbury Town Seal. Documents in
Greek and English inviting the Patmos dignitaries to a formal Civic
Ceremony in Glastonbury in September 2009 were duly signed and exchanged.
The essence of Twinning is to provide a bridge of
goodwill as well as a rich potential for cultural, social, educational
and spiritual exchange for all kinds of people who visit these two
places for all kinds of reasons.
Government International Bureau in London informed Zoé of
the historic importance of this Twinning - it is the very first
Twinning between Great Britain and Greece; and for it to be the
two places most sanctified by the earliest of Christian saints of
each land is truly remarkable. Because of this the Twinning of Glastonbury
and Patmos is classified as a Twinning in Perpetuity.
Anyone wishing to know more about this historic Twinning
is most welcome to contact:
phone: 0044 (0)1458 832 658