A Divine Search for a Sympathetic Buyer; the Nuns of Stanbrook Abbey Have a New Home in North Yorkshire and Now Hope for a Sympathetic Buyer for the Midlands Home They Built, Loved and Cared for. Here They Give a Brief History and Description of Their Cherished Old Home

Article excerpt

In 1997 the Stanbrook Abbey community began a new stage of a journey that first began in 1623 when nine young English women travelled to Cambrai in Flanders to found a new monastery of Benedictine nuns; returning to England in 1795 in the wake of the French Revolution.

Then penniless, the community was, until 1835, dependent on the hospitality of kind benefactors. It was in 1835 that we purchased Stanbrook Hall in Callow End and moved in the early summer of 1838.

s "We built the Abbey Church and Monastery between 1870 and 1900: a great source of celebration for the community because, for the first time since 1793, we had a building in which we were able to live out our full monastic life, of prayer, lectio divina (spiritual reading) and manual labour as enclosed nuns.

Nothing has changed at the heart of the community: we still try to live out our monastic life. It is this that is central to all we do. In 1997 we began a discernment process looking to the future. Stanbrook Abbey, in Worcestershire, was built in the nineteenth century, "second spring" of the Catholic faith, when vocations were numerous - a time very different from our own.

Now, our search for God leads us to design a 21st century monastery, smaller in scale, which seeks to conserve the community's human and financial resources and to be sensitive to ecological and environmental concerns. We wish to live simply and frugally, and to share the graces of our life in a truly Benedictine spirit of hospitality. …