Muscles project at Belgian Monastery features the largest ever team


Friday 2nd May 2014 and Muscles volunteers from the UK, USA, Germany and Belgium gathered at Tongerlo Abbey in rural Belgium. The work included clearing the area adjacent to the moat and part of the English garden, and generated hundreds of photographs.           The team photo shows Abbey representative, Brother Gabriel on the tractor and the multi national team that enjoyed amazing Belgian generosity, hospitality and (of course) beer !








The Monastery at Tongerlo, situated deep in the Belgian countryside east of Antwerp, was founded in 1128. Muscles volunteers were invited to clear the area between the medieval walls and the overgrown moat. The top (left) photo shows part of the area to be cleared, and top (right) the results after the team’s work in May 2014.


MFCLier2014 336MFCLier2014 179Nick and Rich, the ‘Muscles Marine Unit’ cleared the moat which surrounds two sides of the Abbey. The rest of the team remained closer to the Abbey wall.MFCLier2014 108

MFCLier2014 374Amy and Frank, from Seattle, provided unique Muscles shirts for all the volunteers.MFCLier2014(2) 089MFCLier2014(2) 066


Phil and Brother Gabriel exchange gifts on behalf of the Muscles volunteers and the Abbey.

Special thanks to Phil (for over 600 photographs) and Adam for producing a CD containing over 700 photographs, for every team member.

Finally, special and heartfelt appreciation for a legendary weekend, to our fabulous Belgian hosts under the guidance of ‘Captain’ Johan.

Update on Thursday 15th May from ‘Captain Johan’

Tongerlo BeerHello friends around the world. Almost 2 weeks, since the monastery adventure. Unbelievable. And the overwhelming experience is still running through our veins.  Thank you for the fantastic job we did.  Last weekend Rob and myself returned to the monastery to hand over the card you made and we received again a lot of gratitude from one of the brothers.

Gratitude that is coming right to you all. And the question if we had seen these two big frogs in the moat –in a boat for heaven’s sake.Thank you for the opportunity to meet new friends. You are all amazing. We do wonder if the local alcohol stores have already filled up their reserves. Thank you for all your friendship and warmth.Thank you for great memories and stories that will stay with us for a very loooooong time. Cheers (not as in ‘good health’, but as in ‘thanks’).MFCLier2014 966


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