Abide With Me
by Jane Willan
About Abide With Me
Abide With Me: A Sister Agatha and Father Selwyn Mystery
3rd in Series
Amazon White Glove (November 17, 2020)
Number of Pages – 300
Digital ASIN: B08NCT19K1
Change is afoot at Gwenafwy Abbey. Ten new nuns from a convent in Los Angeles join the community of Anglican sisters bringing energy, youthful enthusiasm, and more electronic equipment than Sister Agatha could have imagined. The arrival of the new nuns brings something else to the Abbey—a bit of unexpected notoriety. Claire MacDonagh, an ambitious young reporter for The Church Times, interviews the new sisters for a feature story. Murder is the last thing on anyone’s mind when Claire is found dead on the beach, her mobile phone in the sand. A tragic death, says Constable Barnes. A selfie gone bad. Meanwhile, Sister Agatha is unconvinced and puts on her detective’s hat, only to find herself in the midst of a tangled murder mystery. Her suspect list includes everyone from the new sisters to Reverend Mother to the beloved archbishop of Wales. Time is running out as Sister Agatha uncovers a shocking reality. Will she reveal the truth hidden in an ancient document before it is too late?
Character Guest Post
(I am writing as the character Sister Winifred)
“Be Careful What You Ask For”
Don’t get me wrong. It isn’t that I don’t believe in prayer. Good heavens, I’ve banked my life on the power of prayer. I start and end everyday with prayer, just like all the sisters do here at Gwenafwy Abbey. Matins to Evensong with a lot of talking with the Lord in between.
But one day, we went overboard.
It was the day we prayed for our cheese business to see success. We should have mentioned to the Lord that we didn’t have to be overly successful, just a nice steady income that could keep us going. Something modest. You know, pay the light bill, donate to St. Anselm, throw some money at the diocese when they asked. Just a few cheese orders to bolster us up. To make all our hard work at producing our cheese, Heavenly Gouda, worthwhile.
Unfortunately, we didn’t specify to the Lord what we meant by “successful”. And as Sister Callwen always says, if you can’t say it right, then don’t say anything at all. We would have been better of to just stick to praying for the children’s home in Cardiff or for the First Minister of Wales.
It all started just before Christmas, our busiest time at the Abbey-- next to Holy Week of course. Almost everyone was in the cheese barn doing one thing or another to complete the last cheese order. We were close to done and looking forward to our tea in the Warming Room. The Warming Room is in the main building of the abbey just off the kitchen. The monks of old used it as the solitary place they could keep warm on a cold night. It has a huge fireplace that the monks built about a year before Martin Luther got himself locked up in Wartburg Castle. We still light a fire in the fireplace, but it has a gas log and a remote to turn it on, so the monks are probably rolling in their graves. Nonetheless, it’s a cozy spot with big couches and comfortable chairs and its where we knit, have our tea, and watch Netflix.
It was nearly three o’clock the next morning before we staggered out of the cheese barn and collapsed in the Warming Room. I’m not pointing fingers. But let’s face it--don’t pray if you don’t mean it.
Here’s what happened. Sister Elfrida, who is always way ahead of the rest of us when it comes to technology, had made a Heavenly Gouda Instagram page. But that didn’t raise any red flags. Why should it? A bunch of pictures of cheese, right? But what we didn’t know was that she made it a shoppable Instagram page with this big green button that said “order your holiday cheese here”.
And boy did they ever. The orders came in like church people to Easter service. We were filling cheese orders from London, England to London, Ontario. We finally had to shut down the Instagram site. Later when we sat draped across the furniture in the Warming Room, Sister Agatha said it was like a cross between The Trouble with Tribles on Star Trek and when Penny and Sheldon made Penny Blossoms on The Big Bang. Sister Agatha is very good at thinking up how things that happen to us relate to television or books.
Anyway, the long and the short of it is, we made an absolute cash crop that year with our cheese.
But we never prayed again without giving it a little thought first.
About Jane Willan
Jane Willan wants to live in a world where everyone has time to read their favorite books, drink good coffee, and walk their dog on the beach, but until that can happen she enjoys life as a pastor and writer. When she’s not working on a sermon, or hiking with her husband, Don, you can find her rereading Jane Eyre, binge-watching Downton Abbey, and trying out new ways to avoid exercise.
Website – https://www.janewillan.com/
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Twitter – https://twitter.com/Jane_Willan
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