St Benedict lived in Italy in the 6th Century, but his Rule has stood the test of time. This is because he laid down a way of life that is liveable by ordinary people, a way of life in which prayer, study and work are carefully balanced.

Perhaps the most noticeable thing for those who visit a monastery is the rhythm of the day. Several times a day the community come together for the Divine Office as well as the daily Mass. There is time also for private prayer, particularly Lectio Divina, a prayerful reading of the Scriptures.


Like everyone else a monk has to spend part of his day in work. It may be manual work in the house or garden, or administration work (helping the smooth running of the monastery), intellectual work (such as preparing and giving classes or retreat conferences), or pastoral work either around the monastery or on the parishes that have been assigned to the community. Unlike more recent religious founders St Benedict did not legislate for a particular kind of work, but work is an essential part of the monastic life.

The particular work of the Belmont community is centred on hospitality to guests at the monastery. It also has care of parishes in Cumbria, South Wales as well as around the Abbey in Herefordshire. In 1981 the some members of the Community began the monastic life in the north of Peru, the foundation which is now the Monastery of the Incarnation.

In some ways St Benedict simply emphasises the basic aspects of the Christian's response to God. There is nothing fancy in what he presents. Through the Divine Office, the Mass and private prayer the monk becomes immersed in the things of God by being attentive to his Word. Prayer, work and study are the strands of a monk's day that forms a tapestry of prayer and praise so that " in all things God may be glorified." (Ch57)