What have you been spending your time doing whilst in self isolation?

I, obviously, have been keeping myself busy writing.  However, I thought you might be interested in learning the historical facts that back some of my novels.

I have been putting a weekly blog out on facebook with some interesting facts about the Cathars.  Please click on the facebook link on my front page of my website and this will take you through to my facebook page.

This week, I mentioned the village in the Languedoc where the parish priest became fabulously wealthy. It began in 1887 when Bérenger Saunière received a gift from the Comptesse de Chambord of 3000 francs (equivalent then to his stipend for 5 years) to repair and partly restore the ancient local church which had become sadly run-down over the centuries.

After he had made the building weather-tight, he set about restoring parts of the interior of the church. One of the tasks he decided to carry out was the replacement of the pulpit which was supported on an old carved wooden pillar. When this was removed a concealed cavity was found in the top, out of which fell a glass phial which shattered on the floor. Inside was small roll of parchment.

Neither the parchment or any translation of it has survived, so only Saunière knows exactly what information it contained. However it led him to the next stage in his search which I will tell you about in my next news on this subject. Please feel free to share this with any of your friends.

Meanwhile if you are interested in Rennes-le-Chateau and the surrounding area you may enjoy reading “The Legacy of the Templars”, much of the action of which takes place in secret places around the church which is pictured here.