The Rule of St Benedict says that monasteries are "never without guests" and "all guests who present themselves are to be welcomed as Christ." The Benedictine tradition of hospitality is at the heart of every community and continues at Ampleforth today as one of the major works of our monastic community. Our monastery, indeed our lives, would be incomplete without guests. The tradition of hospitality is as old as the monastic life itself and today we welcome several thousand people each year - believers, non-believers and members of other faiths, of all nationalities, ages and backgrounds. This lovely, tranquil place is not for our benefit alone.
All visitors and guests are welcome to join us in the prayer and services in the Abbey Church. Throughout the year, we run a number of residential courses and retreats, with over 45 places for overnight guests in single and double rooms, as well as dormitory accommodation for school groups.
Some come individually for some time of prayerful recollection, but others come as groups to escape their daily routines and refresh themselves spiritually, sometimes with their own resources, but often taking advantage of courses and themes that we offer. These include Catechists’ courses, retreats for those who are bereaved, for people who want to make Advent preparation, and so on. They even include such unusual events as ‘wine and scripture’ retreats and ‘beach walking’ pilgrimages. At Easter over 500 spend the weekend with us from Thursday to Monday to take part in the unique and spectacular liturgies, and to attend the talks and courses available at this special time.
Whatever brings guests to Ampleforth, they are free to reflect and meditate, sit quietly in the church or stroll in the grounds. If they need to talk, someone will always be available to them.
Visit our Retreats section to read more about Hospitality at Ampleforth.
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