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

 

GENERAL DATA PROTECTION REGULATION (GDPR)

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)

News About Peru

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.

Abbot's Homily Epiphany 2018


"It was by a revelation that I was given the knowledge of the mystery." So Paul describes the gift of faith to the Ephesians. In Matthew's Gospel that same gift of faith is explained like this: "We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage." That is what the Wise Men say to Herod, when they come to Jerusalem looking for the infant king. Isaiah spoke of the gift of faith in these terms, "Above you the Lord now rises and above you his glory appears, though night still covers the earth and darkness the peoples." The Magi followed a star, whereas Isaiah had foretold that the Lord himself would rise and shine, bringing light to his people and to all those who "lift up their eyes and see." "It means" writes Paul, "that the pagans now share the same inheritance, that they are parts of the same body."


Click here
to continue reading Abbot Paul's homily.


Abbot's Homily Christmas Day

"From his fullness we have all received grace in return for grace, for grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ."

This morning we come together to thank God for the birth of his Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, begotten of the Father before time began, born of the Virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, a man like us in all things but sin. We have prepared for Christmas by faithfully keeping Advent, the season of hope and consolation. We have heard the message of the prophets. We have prayed earnestly for his Second Coming. We have longed to celebrate the feast of his Nativity, praying that he prepare in our hearts a crib in which to lie and there fill our lives with grace and truth.

Click here to continue reading Abbot Paul's Homily.

Abbot's Homily Christmas Eve

We have just heard the Christmas story, St Luke's account of the birth of Jesus. We've heard it so many times that we no longer listen. St Luke writes so beautifully that it makes for easy reading, even when the story told is hard to grasp and difficult to understand. Take, for example, the sentence, "She wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn."

Click here to continue reading Abbot Paul's homily.

Br Alistair receives the Ministry of Acolyte at the hands of the Abbot Primate

On 16th December, Br Alistair received the Ministry of Acolyte from the Abbot Primate, Dom Gregory Polan, in the Primate's Chapel at Sant'Anselmo in Rome. We congratulate Br Alistair and joyfully share these photographs with you.

Click here to see the photographs.


Solemn Profession at Belmont

On Monday, 4th September 2017, Solemnity of the Dedication of the Abbey Church, Br. Alistair Findlay made his Solemn Profession during the Conventual Mass.

Dom Alistair will be returning to Rome at the beginning of October for his final year of Theology.


Our prayers and congratulations on his Solemn Profession.


Click here to read Abbot Paul's Homily

Click here to see photographs from the profession Mass.


Ecumenical Vespers at Tintern Abbey



On Sunday 3rd September Abbot Paul was invited once again to preach at the Ecumenical Vespers in the historic Tintern Abbey.



This year Fr Abbot was asked to preach on monasticism.


 

PAX

Of your charity pray for the repose of the soul of

Dom Antony Tumelty

who died on 27th August 2017,

in his 64th year,

fortified by the Rites of Holy Church.

He had been professed 43 years

and ordained 37 years.

Requiescat in pace.


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