The Monastery Move

Ampleforth Abbey

On Friday 27th October, the Monastic Community of Ampleforth Abbey will begin moving out of the monastery to Bolton House.

They will reside in Bolton House for the next 18 months whilst their home is fully refurbished for the first time in almost 100 years. The move will take place over one full week and will see increased traffic on site; we apologise in advance for any inconvenience caused and ask you to keep the community in your thoughts and prayers as they embark on this new chapter in their lives.

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. Whilst resident in Bolton House, the monastic community will pray the Divine Office together in their dedicated Chapel, but will travel to the Abbey Church each day to celebrate Mass and Little Hour. Our online live streaming service will still be available and visitors to Ampleforth Abbey will be able to listen to each service, which will be broadcast straight into the Abbey Church – we ask you to please bear with us in the early days as we address any technical difficulties. Whilst the monks may not be there in person for every service, they will be with you all in thought and prayer and, to quote our Master of Ceremonies, Fr Kieran, they will “continue to make Ampleforth a home for those many people who come here looking for guidance and hope.”

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. 

Thank you for your patience.