Many people think that monastic life is one long retreat and, compared to many people’s lives, this is probably the case!

Monastic life is focused on prayer and work, but even monks need to take some time away from routine and seek to put all the elements of everyday life into perspective once again. Each year the Monastic Community at Downside, Somerset, has five days of retreat, when we invite someone to come to give talks, and we donate more time to prayer and silence. So during those five days we talk only after lunch, we pray more and we try to avoid our everyday work where possible. Inevitably, many things still need to be done, but we give more time to our monastic life.

This year the talks were given by Abbot Paulinus Greenwood of St Augustine’s Abbey, Chilworth. He spoke on the theme of Wisdom: the Wisdom of the Bible, of the Fathers, of the Cell, of the Cross and so on. These were stimulating and interesting talks, giving much food for thought.

Click here to find out more about our monastic community.