Ampleforth Abbey

14 December 2017

Monks prepare to move out of the monastery temporarily

Monks take a vow of stability, promising to join their lives to that of a particular community. That usually involves staying in the same place - but not always. Here at Ampleforth, the monks are currently busy preparing to move out of the monastery into another building while the monastery is refurbished. We're not going far - just to Bolton House in another part of the campus - but packing up the monastery for the move is still a big job!

Why are the monks moving into temporary accommodation?

There has been no major overhaul of the monastery in about a century. Currently the monastery is in poor repair, dark, noisy (for lack of sound-proofing) and lacking in privacy. Living quarters are basic and often damp, with the majority of monks served by only three bathrooms. The plumbing, heating and electrics all need updating as they are reaching the end of their serviceable life. The need for refurbishment has become more and more apparent.

It isn't possible to refurbish the monastery with the monks in residence, so the monks are moving into nearby Bolton House for the next 18 months. This will serve as a temporary monastery. We'll post some more photos and information once we've moved in.

Will this affect visitors and church services?

Our guests and visitors are very important to us and we are trying to keep disruption to a minimum, but please see this page for details about arrangements which will be affected.

Counting down to the move...

The monks will be moving in stages over the next few days but preparations have been underway for a while. Thankfully, we have had the help of a removals team to pack up much of the library and many other items, but the monks have been hard at work too packing up our cells and communal areas. We are currently surrounded by boxes and masking tape, and living in a strange interim period where pictures have been taken down from the walls and the monastery is half packed-up.

Please pray for us at this rather stressful time. Monks are creatures of routine and stability, so the move is a big upheaval, especially for the older brethren. But the daily round of prayer, the stable fidelity of God and the mutual support of the brethren keep us going as always. We also hope that this temporary move, and the eventual new start in a refurbished monastery, will be a refreshing moment in the life of our Community. Monks take vows of stability but also of conversatio morum: commitment to ongoing change and conversion to a holier way of life. And moments of great exterior change can be moments of inner renewal.

For more information...

Please see this message about the move and its effect on services, etc.

You can also visit our page about 'Our Journey' which gives details about the monastery appeal. There is still some way to go, but we are immensely grateful to those who are helping us to complete this necessary refurbishment work by their kind donations.