Ampleforth Abbey

23 May 2017

Monastic works

Ora et Labora: work and pray

The work of God in the monastery is centred on the Divine Office or the Liturgy of the Hours, those set times throughout the day when the community comes together for prayer recited or sung in choir in the Abbey church.

Monks must also earn their keep and this is done primarily through the educational and parochial apostolate, running schools and parishes. At the moment, the monks of Ampleforth are involved in the running of two schools, Ampleforth College and St. Martin's Ampleforth, and St. Benet's Hall - a Permanent Private Hall of the University of Oxford. Monks also work in a number of parishes and in 1997 the community established the Monastery of Christ the Word in Macheke, Zimbabwe, where four Ampleforth monks are resident.

In his Rule Saint Benedict wrote that any guest "should be received just as we would receive Christ himself". Hospitality, therefore, is an important work of the community, with a number of monks devoting their time to offering retreats and courses throughout the year. There is also a Visitor Centre, Abbey Shop and Tea Room open to all visitors and guests.

The orchards at Ampleforth Abbey are reputed to be the most northerly commercial orchards in Britain and are home to more than 40 varieties of apple. The harvest produces not only lovely apples, but also leads to the production of Ampleforth Cider and Cider Brandy.

The Abbey Shop is open to the public Mondays to Saturdays from 10.30am to 5.00pm and on Sundays from 11.00am to 4:00pm. Tel: 01439 766778.

Monks also fulfil a range of roles within the monastery: abbot, prior, procurator, novice master, guest master, infirmarian, sacristan, etc. Some monks also practice crafts (such as candle-making and book-binding) and do gardening or other outdoor work.