My American fundraising ‘tour’ is less than two weeks away and I’m already in a state of panic. The frustrating thing is that there is absolutely no reason for me to be afraid: I’ve been to the States several times before and I’ve only met wonderfully sociable and pleasant people, who have been of great help to me and the Monastery.
It’s true, when I was there last time, I had a full grant to do research at the Library of Congress; now, I have a terrifyingly vague idea about my plans: I know that I’ll spend most of my week-days working at St Vladimir’s Seminary in New York (I’m drafting a paper on Orthodox Theology of the Arts), but at weekends I should be preaching, lecturing and raising money to buy the land for the Monastery. My initial plan involved a microphone, Times Square and me screaming ‘Donate!’ – thank God for those American friends mentioned above who have come up with a slightly more reasonable plan (the details of which I shall include in a future post).
What we need to do is raise 65 thousand pounds (about 100 thousand dollars) to buy the 5-acre plot of land surrounding Kilninian (Church of Ninian), our monastery church. Without this land, life at Kilninian is close to impossible, as there is no toilet and no running water. Kilninian is more or less in the middle of no-where, on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean – it never functioned as a parish church (a church with a parish house), so there is literally nothing else there except the Church itself and a (very!) small vestry room, which is now my cell. We need the land to draw water from a spring nearby (which is actually on the land we are trying to buy) and to install the septic tank for a toilet.
That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow (hopefully, with some good news).