YOUR REPORT on (March 13) under the headline: "Nuns lose out on wafer business" is misleading and incorrect. The report is based upon information by a Sister making wafers at a workshop in Lancashire and makes no mention at all of the twenty seven Roman Catholic Contemplative Communities engaged in the traditional work of making altar breads for the Church in England, Wales and Scotland as means of income and an important service to the Church.
The Commission on the Economics of the Contemplative Life has been engaged for over fifteen years in research, support and advice to these communities in this work and the development of more efficient machinery to manufacture altar breads. Others, also engaged in this industry, have always respected this traditional work of the communities and have not engaged in a price war.
The Company you mention, FA Dumont of Lyming, Nr Folkestone has been for some years suppliers of 'back up' quantities of altar breads to the Convents when the manufacturing capacity of the Sisters is'under pressure.
FA Dumont are the sole UK importers of the newer, thicker, more breadlike, less crumbly breads that have become popular with many priests and parishes because these go some way to fulfulling the more authentic symbolism required in our Eucharistic Liturgy. These breads are offered to the nuns so that they have an extended range to offer to their customers.
The Hierarchy of England and Wales and the National Conference of Priests have actively encouraged support for the local convent supplier of breads and the loss of business in your report would indicate that this advice is being heeded.
Dom Romuald Simpson OSB (Secretary to the Commission)
Commission on the Economics of the Contemplative Life London