Tuesday, 29 January 2013

St.Benedict's Priory, Salisbury

I was looking forward to my visit to Salisbury for two reasons: first of all, to visit my Benedictine community of oblation (who have recently moved from Newbury to Salisbury); and to see the magnificent Cathedral of Salisbury, recently made more popular by the book and TV mini series, Pillars of the Earth.

St.Benedict’s Priory, Salisbury
The monastic community of St.Benedict’s Priory, Salisbury, has had more than a hundred year history since the revival of monasticism in the Church of England near the end of the 19th century. They have resided at Nashdom, Elmore (where I became an  novice in 1997), 

The former Elmore Abbey, Newbury

Sarum College on the left, the newly moved into priory house in Salisbury on the right

The garden in front of the priory house with the cathedral to the right

and now Salisbury.

With only four monks left to the community, they now live in a small priory house next to Sarum College (an Anglican theological college), and within the 13th century cathedral close of Salisbury. I first visited these Benedictine monks (with my wife and three children - who to this day still speak positively about that visit), and became a novice in 1997, became an oblate in 1998, and have retreated to Elmore almost every year since. I am happy to see the remaining four monks settled away in a smaller priory house in Salisbury, and it has been an absolute joy to see my Benedictine brothers and to share with them in prayers and fellowship. In addition to the daily offices in the priory house, they also participate in mass in the morning chapel of the cathedral every morning at 7:30, midday prayer at Sarum College at 12:15, and choral evensong in the choir of the cathedral.


Father Gerald said...

Hi Matt. Four Anglican Benedictine monks moved from Newbury to Salisbury two years ago. Their priory house is right next to Sarum college. In fact, an addition is being built onto the back of the house to accommodate a new chapel for the small community.

Terry Shailes said...


I am sorry to bother you Father. I don't know if you know my father (Derek Shailes). He lives in Speen in Newbury and sometimes visits the monks at Salisbury Cathedral because he knew many of them as they lived next door to Speen church in Newbury and he also lives close by. Nearly 2 years ago he was diagnosed with bowel cancer. Unfortunately after several operations and chemotherapy he is losing the battle against it rapidly. It has now spread significantly around his body and he now has only a couple of weeks to live. He has such faith and always talks about the monks that were here in Speen next to the church. I was wondering if you (or the monks that he knew here) could possibly come to visit him before his departure from this world. I think that it would give him so much great comfort. He also wants to be buried with the other monks at Speen church which is in a separate fenced off area and I have no idea what I need to do in order to make this happen. Is there any way that you could help me? I am sorry to contact you only in such times of need. My name is Terry Shailes.....I am his youngest son. I am personally struggling to come to terms with the fact that I will have to bury him in a few weeks time. Please help me. All my love, Terry Shailes 07771 948012 or berkshirebottles@gmail.com