A Guide to Educational Visits for Schools
Belmont Abbey was founded in 1859 and is not only a beautiful historic building but the centre of a living Monastic and Parish Community. The Monastery attached to the church is home to a community of Benedictine monks, who follow the traditional pattern of life laid down in the Rule of St. Benedict, written in the 6th Century and still followed today in the 21st Century.
Hospitality is an important feature of the Monastic apostolate, all guests to be received as Christ (Rule of St. Benedict 53) and it is in this spirit that the community seeks to welcome students to the Abbey.
Pupils, students and teachers have the opportunity to see a living Monastery at work and prayer. It is a journey of discovery into the life of a monk based upon the wisdom of St. Benedict. The education team, led by Father James Norris, who is himself a member of the Belmont community, is made up of both monastic and lay members. All are either graduates in a wide range of disciplines or hold a nationally recognised vocational qualification, Most are qualified teachers with a wide range of experience.
Visits generally begin with tours of the Abbey Church and the Monastery grounds; emphasis is laid on art & architecture, history or religious education, according to the school or college's choice. There are facilities for 'indoor' tours of the grounds in inclement weather.
The Education Team has developed over 100 practical activities and a similar number of paper based ones; therefore appealing to all age groups from KS1 to post graduates.
Generally a visit consists of a whole year group (usually 50, although larger groups can be accommodated with prior notice), but
we are well accustomed to mixed year groups; every year we receive whole school visits from small primary schools. We are happy to welcome all faiths and all abilities.
"I was most impressed by the programme for schools & colleges. Belmont's education team is doing marvellous work. The team has the skills and experience that make the day very enjoyable."
The Most Rev. Peter Smith, Archbishop of Southwark.