Come and see - welcome to our website

It gives us great joy to welcome you to our website and, of course, to Belmont Abbey. Please note that there is also a Belmont Abbey in North Carolina, USA, so if that's the one you're looking for, try again!


The Abbey of St Michael and All Angels at Belmont, together with our foundation in Peru, the Monastery of the Incarnation at Pachacamac, and our incorporated parishes at Abergavenny, Belmont, Weobley and Whitehaven, are all part and parcel of the organic whole we call Belmont Abbey. In addition, our monks serve on several diocesan parishes, help in the work of other monasteries and serve as chaplains to enclosed nuns and the Armed Forces. In all the monastic community is made up of about forty monks. We belong to the English Benedictine Congregation, but as is the monastic tradition each house is autonomous and a charitable trust in its own right.

We hope you find everything you are looking for on our website. Unfortunately, there have been quite a few glitches in recent times, so we hope to have a new website in the not too distant future. In the meantime, make yourselves at home and let us know if there is anything more you would like to know about Belmont or see on our website. If you would like to visit or stay with us for a retreat, then write to the Abbot or to the Guest Master and we will get back to you at once.

We ask for your prayers and assure you of ours.

Abbot Paul and the Belmont Community



Many of the visitors to our website will be aware of the changes to the Data Protection Act and that on 25th May 2018 the new regulation (GDPR) comes into effect in the UK. This will replace the former Data Protection Act, with which Belmont Abbey has complied faithfully. The new GDPR introduces new and more stringent requirements for all organisations, including Churches and such religious institutions as Benedictine monasteries, in relation to how we look after and manage any personal data we may hold.

The parishes committed to our pastoral care will be following the policies for the various dioceses to which they belong. Hedley Lodge, our guesthouse, has published its privacy policy on its own website.

Belmont Abbey does not contact people either by post, email or telephone, nor do we send out a newsletter either by post or email. You can read news of the abbey and of our foundation in Peru on our website, which will shortly be renewed, At Belmont we are ensuring that all the necessary systems and processes are in place to ensure that any personal details we hold (e.g. names and contact details) of friends and benefactors are held securely and legitimately.

Belmont Abbey General Trust (Charity No. 226278)

Recent Events

Abbot's Homily Assumption 2018

When we say the Litany of Our Lady, she is invoked with all those marvellous titles, mostly biblical, that Christians have given her over the centuries. Among them, she is called Queen, Queen of Angels, Queen of Patriarchs, Queen of Prophets and so on. I have always been intrigued by the title Queen of Prophets. What can it mean? In today's Gospel, which recounts the Visitation, Elizabeth says to Mary, "Blessed is she, indeed, who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled." That is why she is called the Queen of Prophets. She believed that God would fulfil his promise, "You shall bear a Son," and because of her faith, she was blessed by God. "Blessed art thou among women."

Click here to continue reading Abbot Paul's homily.

New Prior for Belmont

On Sunday, 12th August 2018, Fr Brendan Thomas became Prior of Belmont in succession to Fr Nicholas.

We congratulate Fr Brendan on his appointment and pray that he will be blessed in this new service to the Community.

Fr Brendan will continue as Novice Master as well as being in charge of the Retreat Programme.


Diaconal Ordination of Dom Alistair Findlay

On Friday, 10th August 2018, the Feast of St Lawrence, Martyr and Deacon, Dom Alistair Findlay was ordained to the Diaconate at Belmont by Archbishop George Stack of Cardiff.

We congratulate Dom Alistair, who is working on a License in Monastic Theology and is now resident again at Belmont after 3 years' study in Rome.

Click here for a couple of pictures from the Mass.

Solemn Profession

On the feast of the Transfiguration, we were pleased to welcome Br Augustine as a full member of the Belmont community as he took his solemn vows. Family and friends joined the community at the Solemn Mass presided over by Abbot Paul.

After the Profession, as is our tradition, his hood is pinned up and he goes into an intense 3 day retreat "in the tomb" with Christ. It is a very special time in a monk's life, three days of solitude to rise with Christ and live his monastic life in him.

We pray for Br Augustine that he will be a good and faithful son of St Benedict and monk of Belmont.

He will be continuing his theological studies in Rome in September.

Click here for more pictures from the profession.

Click here to read Abbot Paul's Homily from the profession Mass.

News from Peru

On Sunday, 29th July, in the monastery Church at Lurin, Bishop Carlos Garcia ordained Br Juan Edgar and Br Percy to the Diaconate.

Over 200 people were present for this joyful occasion. Our congratulations to Deacons Percy and Juan Edgar.

Click here to see pictures from the Mass and more pictures of the monastery Church.

Recent Events

Appointment of Dom Nicholas Wetz
as Prior Administrator of Downside

The Abbot President, with the approval of the Holy See, has appointed Dom Nicholas Wetz to be Prior Administrator of Downside Abbey for two years with effect from 1st September 2018. Dom Nicholas is at present Claustral Prior of Belmont, Parish Priest, Procurator and Junior Master.

Five monks of Downside served as Cathedral Priors of Belmont in the days of the Common Novitiate and House of Studies. They were Dom Norbert Sweeney (1859-1862), Dom Bede Vaughan (1862-1873), Dom Wilfrid Raynal (1873 -1901), Dom Clement Fowler (1905-1914) and Dom Aelred Kindersley (1915-1920) Dom Aelred became the first Prior of an independent Belmont and in 1920, when Belmont was elevated to the status of an abbey by the Holy See, he was elected the first Abbot of Belmont. He died in post in 1934. The first Bishop of Newport and Menevia, the Right Reverend Thomas Joseph Brown, whose cathedral Belmont became in 1859, was also a monk of Downside. In the 1950s, when Belmont was going through a difficult period, a monk of Downside, Dom Nicholas Holman, was sent to Belmont for a number of years to help out. It can be seen that Belmont owes a great debt to Downside.

We pray for Dom Nicholas as he begins this new ministry and hope that all will go well for him and the Downside Community. At the same time, the Belmont Community thanks him for all that he has done in faithful service to the community, monastery, school and parish, over the past thirty years.

Abbot Jerome's Tombstone

It was a great joy to see Abbot Jerome's tombstone finally laid over his grave a few days' ago.

We would like to thank all those, oblates, friends, parishioners and former pupils of the school, who generously donated towards it and to the apiary which has been established in his honour.

Once our new website is up and running, in about a month's time, there will be news of our bees, 12th July marks the second anniversary of Abbot Jerome's death.
May his good soul rest in peace.

Abbot's Homily Sts Peter and Paul

"I have kept the faith."

At Caesarea Philippi Jesus asked his disciples, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter replied in the name of the Twelve, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." On the road to Damascus Saul asked, "Who are you, Lord?" It was the Christ, the Son of the living God, who replied, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting." Both Peter and Paul came to realise, not through human inspiration but divine revelation, that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the living God. This belief brought with it the realization that they had also been chosen and called by him to be his apostles despite their many weaknesses and failures. "My grace is enough for you." That sense of mission motivated the rest of their lives.

Click here to keep reading Abbot Paul's homily.


News from Peru

For new pictures from June 2018 click here.


Change of address

Our brethren in Peru have now moved to their new home, the monastery at LURIN, which was formerly home to a community of Cistercian nuns and a foundation of the famous Abbey of Las Huelgas in Spain.

The address is: Monjes Benedictinos de la Encarnación, Monasterio Santa María de la Santísima Trinidad, Lurín, Lima 16. The telephone number is +51 1 4301057. Email addresses remain the same as does the P.O.Box (Apartado 16-061, Lurín, Lima 16, Perú).

Click here for a few photographs to give you an idea of their new home. Guests and visitors are always welcome.

New Novice

On 20th March, Eve of the Solemnity of the Passing of St Benedict, Fr Abbot gave the habit to Br. Ascensio Quispe Ynquillay, as he began his novitiate after completing his time as a postulant. Br Ascensio hails from Cuzco and speaks Quechua as well as Spanish. He is 27 years' old and this is his second attempt at the monastic life.

Solemn Profession

During the Conventual Mass on March 21st, Dom José Luis Espinoza Sánchez made his Solemn Profession as a monk of Belmont and Pachacamac. We congratulate him and wish him many years of happiness serving God in the monastic life. He is well known at Belmont, having stayed for extension visits on two occasions, including part of his novitiate.
Ad multos annos.

Important News of the Monastery of the Incarnation

At a Conventual Chapter held at Belmont on 26th March 2018, it was decided to accept the request of the Abbess and Community of the Cistercian Abbey of Las Huelgas in Spain to take over their former foundation at Lurin, Peru, which is 10 miles from our own Monastery of the Incarnation at Pachacamac. The Cistercian house was founded in 1992, but suppressed in 2016 for lack of vocations. Our brethren in Peru are absolutely delighted at this and will move to Lurin at the beginning of May. Another religious community will take over, for the time being, the monastery at Pachacamac.

Lurin has the advantage of having a complete set of monastic buildings, including church, guesthouse and workshops. It also has a 10-acre orchard, which provides a good part of the income. The monastery is much nearer the centre of things, being just a 10 minute walk from the cathedral, local seminary, market, bus stops and so on. The Community will, among other things, return to working with the poor, which was an important aspect of our life in Tambogrande and San Lorenzo. This move has the wholehearted support of the local bishop, who hopes the Community will build on the fine work done at Pachacamac by becoming an important spiritual centre for Lima and Peru.

Recent Events

Abbot's Homily Pentecost

"In one Spirit we were all baptised and one Spirit was given to us all to drink." That was the life-changing experience of St Paul and he wrote about it in many different ways. In the Acts of the Apostles, we are simply told that, "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit," while in St John's Gospel, it is Jesus himself who breathes on the apostles and says, "Receive the Holy Spirit." Whether they are baptised and filled with living water or receive the Spirit as breath and life, one thing is clear from the New Testament: the Holy Spirit is a gift of God given through and by the Risen Christ. It is a gift that brings about a radical change in our lives, unites us to God and enables us to live in Christ and do his redeeming work. We preach the Gospel by proclaiming the wonders of God, not just in word but in all we do. We forgive those who sin against us and, through the gifts of the Spirit, we are able to carry out every ministry needed in the Church, complementing one another as the Spirit sees fit. Thus we proclaim the Gospel of Salvation in Jesus Christ to all those who are searching for God and have the humility to repent and believe.

Click here to continue reading Abbot Paul's homily.

Abbot's Homily Ascension Thursday

Since Easter Sunday we have been celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus, reading the wonderful Gospel narratives, singing those glorious Easter hymns and meditating on the breathtaking mysteries of our faith. So many images of our Risen Lord come to mind when we think of the Resurrection: the empty Tomb, the women and the angels, Mary Magdalene, who took him to be the gardener, Cleopas and his companion, who failed to recognise him on the road to Emmaus until he entered their home and broke bread for them, the disciples in the upper room and the meeting with Thomas a week later (Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe), the encounter on the shore of Lake Galilee (Do you love me more than these?) Then, reading the rest of the Gospel in the light of the Resurrection and beginning to see what it all means. Eastertide is a spiritual whirlwind!

Click here to continue reading Abbot Paul's homily.

Fr Stephen returns to Belmont

On 24th April, Fr Stephen Holdsworth, now aged 87 and Belmont's oldest monk, returned to the monastery to retire.

He had not lived at Belmont since 1957.

During his working life he has served as teacher, games master and house master at Belmont, Alderwasley and Llanarth, as curate or parish priest at Abergavenny, Swansea, Hereford and Weobley and, for the last five and a half years, as chaplain to the Benedictine nuns at Colwich.

We wish him a very happy retirement.

Abbot's Homily Easter Sunday

"Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in; he saw and he believed." What did the other disciple see and believe? He saw nothing but an empty tomb with the linen cloths lying on the ground. At the end of the gospel we are told what he believed, "that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God," and that we have life in his Name. On that first Easter Day, the Beloved Disciple comes to faith in the risen Lord on the evidence of an empty tomb alone. The Letter to the Hebrews says, "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

Click here to read the rest of the Abbot Paul's Homily.


Abbot's Homily Easter Vigil

"So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid." For some unknown reason the compilers of the Lectionary omitted that final verse of St Mark's account of the Resurrection from tonight's Gospel reading, ending as it does with those extraordinary and unexpected words, "for they were afraid." How strange that the three women, who had been so brave until now and had even entered the tomb on seeing that the stone, which was very big, had been rolled away, should be filled with amazement and fear at hearing the message of the Easter angel, "There is no need for alarm. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He is risen, he is not here. See, here is the place where they laid him."

Click here to continue reading Abbot Paul's homily.

Abbot's Homily Good Friday

"What I have written, I have written." It was Pilate's last word. He had written the notice himself and fixed it to the cross; "Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews." For St Paul, the Cross was the answer to all his questions. Nothing else was needed: he could glory in the Cross of his Lord and Saviour, accepting all manner of suffering and hardship in the joy and confidence of being reconciled to God in Christ Jesus. The Cross is the work of the Father, who so loved the world that he gave his only Son. It is the work of the Son, who did not cling to equality with God but humbled himself, accepting death on a cross. It is the work of the Holy Spirit, in whom the Son offers himself to the Father and who is poured out by the Son, when "bowing his head, he gave up the spirit." In the Cross, we come to know the love of God, which surpasses all understanding.

Click here to continue reading Abbot Paul's homily.

Abbot's Homily Maundy Thursday

"At the moment you do not know what I am doing, but later you will understand." Simon Peter had questioned Jesus, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" The Bible is full of people who ask God why and how: Mary at the Annunciation, "How can this be?" or Moses before the burning bush, "What shall I say?" Throughout the Exodus, the Israelites kept on complaining against Moses and Aaron, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt to this place, where there is neither food nor water?" At the time they did not know what God was doing, but later, in the Promised Land, they could to look back and begin to understand. They celebrated the Passover to show that they understood God's plan and this understanding brought with it repentance and thanksgiving.

Click here to continue reading Abbot Paul's homily.

Abbot's Homily Palm Sunday

"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest." We are struck on Palm Sunday by the stark contrast between the joyful exuberance of the blessing of palms with its procession and the bleak reality of the Mass that follows, centred as it is on the Passion. That first Holy Week, the disciples were unprepared for what was to follow on from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. They hadn't really understood the words of Jesus that he would suffer and die so as to enter fully into his glory. The same crowds, who welcomed him into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, would soon be screaming out, "Crucify him! Crucify him!" Some would mock him saying, "He saved others, he cannot save himself," little realising the truth concealed in their words, for on the cross Jesus didn't need to save himself but he did save everyone else.

Click here to continue reading Abbot Paul's homily.

Abbot's Homily for Ash Wednesday

"Let your hearts be broken, not your garments. Turn to the Lord your God again, for he is all tenderness and compassion, slow to anger, rich in graciousness, ready to relent." These words of the Prophet Joel remind us that Lent is the time when we turn to God with broken hearts and ask him in his mercy to heal them. "Now is the favourable time; this is the day of salvation," writes St Paul. In fact, God is so merciful and loving that Paul can say, "For our sake God made the sinless one into sin, so that in him we might become the goodness of God." Incredibly, salvation doesn't demand great sacrifices on our part. All God wants is that we open our hearts to him, so that he can do the rest. Salvation is God's gift, not something we earn by our own efforts. Holiness is the fruit of faith and trust in God, allowing his grace to work in us.

Click here to continue reading Abbot Paul's homily.

Fr David returns to Belmont

Fr David Bird returned to the UK after serving for a record 36 years in Peru. During those years he served as Assistant Pastor in Tambogrande, followed by three long stints as Parish Priest in Piura, Negritos and San Miguel de Pallaques in northern Peru, and finally as Superior of the Monastery of the Incarnation at Pachacamac.

Fr David, who will be 81 at the end of March has returned to Belmont and is already taking a full part in community life.
He is a fine Theologian and runs an excellent blog called Monks and Mermaids. It's well worth a visit: you might become an addict.

In the photograph he is seen at Birmingham Airport, feeling the intense cold of a February night.