March 30th, 2021

Английский диакон: Le Cercle английской жизни

Между этими фотографиями Jonathan Aitken 60 лет.

На первой, он Итонский школяр, приехавший к шотландским шахтерам (фильм об этом можно посмотреть здесь, на 4 мин).
На последней - тюремный священник в Pentonville Prison.

Священником он стал отсидев 7 месяцев в тюрьме, прочитав Библию и выучив греческий язык.

Что было с Джонатаном между этими событиями легко найти в сети:

"I went through defeat, divorce, disgrace, bankruptcy and jail.
 I went back to Oxford as a student, to study theology. Most of my fellow students were training to be priests and were almost poorer than I was.

It was hard, but although I was broke, it wasn’t a breaking experience – I accepted that life had changed and got on with it. I learnt how to manage quite quickly. I exchanged Mammon for God".

Нас же интересует образование человека, давшее ему "путевку в жизнь".

Председатель тайного общества Le Cercle* в начале славных дел.

Mr Aitken recalled that the trip was organised after MP Emrys Hughes – who had a number of “formidable” mines in his constituency – gave a speech at the Eton Political Society, which he presided over.

He said: “I remember this episode well. Towards the end of his speech in a half humorous way he asked why Eton isn’t sending any of its boys into the coal mining industry.

“He said, ‘I challenge the boys of Eton to come down the mines of my constituency’. I accepted.

“We worked on the coalface. We went down the mines for the four days, and gosh it was tough. To me it was very very eye opening and fulfilling and fascinating work.

“We also rather bonded with our mining hosts.”

Mr Aitken said the trip sparked an exchange programme – with miners visiting Eton for five days.

The school also launched a fundraising effort for the mine when tragedy struck just four months after the visit – when disaster struck and four men were buried alive. Their bodies remain there today.

But Mr Aitken said one of the men – Jimmy Tanner – stood out in his memory, as Mr Tanner wrote to him some years after the visit, saying he was retiring, suffering from a chest condition, and wished to move south.

Mr Aitken said: “He wrote to me – I was by that time a very young member of parliament. He said, ‘Do you think you could help me get a council house?’ And I did get Jimmy Tanner a council house in Ramsgate.

Le Cercle was established in 1952-53 by then French prime minister Antoine Pinay and French intelligence agent Jean Violet under the name Cercle Pinay. Konrad Adenauer and Franz Josef Strauss were co-founders and reconciliation between France and Germany was an important goal. Historian Adrian Hänni wrote that "The Cercle's founding vision encompassed the integration of a Christian-Catholic Europe, an aspiration reflected in the Cercle's personal membership and the countries represented in its early years." The other members of the original Cercle were from the Governments of Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands including a number of members of the Catholic Opus Dei and the Knights of Malta.