Douai Abbey

Douai Abbey
Under the patronage of St Edmund, King & Martyr
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DOUAI ABBEY is home to a community of monks of the English Benedictine Congregation. The monastery is under the patronage of St Edmund, King & Martyr, and was founded in Paris in 1615. Uprooted by the French Revolution it settled at Douai in Flanders. After more political turmoil the monastic community finally returned to England in 1903, settling at Woolhampton in Berkshire, at the invitation of the Bishop of Portsmouth.

Until 1999 the community ran a school. Douai monks still maintain the other principal English Benedictine apostolate, serving the Church in parishes throughout England. At the monastery itself we offer a welcome to guests on retreats or courses of various sorts, as well as those who seek some quiet time. There are facilities to house conferences of modest size, and youth or chaplaincy groups. Our library and archive building houses a rich resource for study and research, and is open to researchers and students by application. From time to time we host a number of sacred concerts given by leading performers.

However, the primary work of the monks, as it is for all Benedictines, is the regular celebration of the sung Divine Office and the Mass, and all our liturgical worship is open to the public. If you are a single Catholic man between the ages, generally, of 18 and 45 and wonder if you might be called to share our way of life, please do look at our information on vocations. While our website explains our life and history in greater depth, you are always welcome to come and see.

LET THEM SLEEP clothed and girded with belts or cords- but not with their knives at their sides, lest they cut themselves in their sleep- and thus be always ready to rise without delay when the signal is given and hasten to be before one another at the Work of God, yet with all gravity and decorum... When they rise for the Work of God let them gently encourage one another, that the drowsy may have no excuse.
Rule of St Benedict—Chapter 22

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