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Last Updated: Friday, 8 April, 2005, 10:45 GMT 11:45 UK
Helicopter flies TV dish to monks
Television engineer and Caldey Island monk
A television engineer explains to a monk how the the digital TV works
Monks on Caldey Island watched the Pope's funeral on television after a satellite dish was flown in by helicopter.

The near-silent order, who generally do not watch TV, were returning the device after watching Friday's service.

Brother Francis said the Cistercian monks did not watch TV but it was a "one-off event".

An attempt to take equipment to the island off Pembrokeshire by boat had been frustrated by bad weather.

A helicopter made two journeys to carry the dish and an installer to the island, off the Pembrokeshire coast.

There is a television set on the island, although it has not been watched for some time, and the satellite is needed because the height of the monastery's walls makes the signal difficult to pick up.

Map of Caldey Island

Installer Lyn Roberts, who is based in Llandybie near Ammanford, provided the dish for free and flew with the equipment to the island on Thursday afternoon to set it up.

"The reception on the island isn't very good so we're fitting a satellite dish temporarily so the monks can watch the pope's funeral," said Mr Roberts.

The Caldey Island order was founded in 1929 and it funds itself by making chocolate and perfume.

Members observe a strict no-speaking rule between 1900 BST and 0700 BST.

In the day time, they work alone and tend to only speak when necessary.

The monks also take vows of poverty, chastity and obedience when joining the monastery.


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