“Abbot Tibor”


Quarr Abbey appeared to be in such disarray - the abbot was removed from office and the administration of the abbey and monastery was taken over by superiors from France. Several monks had left Quarr and Dom Tibor Szende OSB was residing in Somerset when the idea came to him that he could yet become Abbot of Quarr. This would necessitate his being elected by the monks and former monks of the former Quarr Community, including those like himself who had dispersed to various places including Benedictine abbeys and houses around Britain, following the controversies of his time at Quarr. He set about visiting various Benedictine monks around England and Wales. He even travelled to Pluscarden in Scotland to try to talk to a former Quarr monk who was very ill. Of course Tibor was not elected, but instead was exclaustrated from the Benedictine Order and is no longer a Benedictine monk.

Although excluded from Quarr and from the Isle of Wight and from Portsmouth diocese, he had his portrait painted in oils in his monastic robes, but he said he would have preferred to have had the portrait with an abbot’s crucifix on his chest.

The Rev Szende’s somewhat renowned and impressive Portrait in Oils, which depicts him robed in a Benedictine habit as if he were a respectable Benedictine Monk, was for a long time on view in his own house in Cheddar later on exhibition in an impressive solid oak wooden frame in appropriate surroundings in a WC (above the toilet tissue dispenser).

The Portrait is believed to be an original by the artist Bill Leyshon, portrait painter and wood flooring contractor.

Mr Tibor Szende, posing as a Benedictine monk of Quarr Abbey which is on the Isle of Wight, while he was excluded from the abbey and living in Cheddar, Somerset.