Order of St Benedict, Community of St Mary at the Cross (OSB)

Introduction to the community

Living under the Rule of Benedict and dedicated to St Mary at the Cross, the vocation of this community is to stand with Christ’s Mother beside those who suffer; its heart in prayer, the Divine Office & the Eucharist are central to its life.

Beginning in Shoreditch, Mother Monnica Skinner and Revd Henry Nihill worked together, drawn to the desperate poverty and sickness around them. Awareness of the needs, especially of ‘incurable children’, led to the building of a hospital, marking the beginning of the community’s life work. Developing to meet the needs of each generation, this ministry continues today in Henry Nihill House, in the beautiful grounds of Edgware Abbey providing a quality care service to each person in a professional, inclusive and caring manner.

Edgware Abbey is a haven of peace which enfolds many visitors. All are offered Benedictine hospitality with space for rest and renewal. The small comfortable Guest Wing provides short stay retreat accommodation and space for parish Away Days and meetings. All guests are welcome to participate in the Community’s offering of the Divine Office and Eucharist. Edgware Abbey is easily accessible from the M1, A1, tube and rail.

Edgware OSB Barbara's Diamond Jubilee

Contact details

020 8958 7868

Address: Edgware Abbey, 94A Priory Field Drive, Edgware, Middlesex HA8 9PZ, UK

Alternative email: nuns.osb.edgware@btconnect.com

Community information

Date of foundation:
Registered Charity number:

Bishop Visitor: Rt Revd Peter Wheatley


Third Order, Fellowship, Associates

Our Oblates are part of our extended Community family: living outside the cloister; following the spirit of the Holy Rule of St Benedict; bonded with the Community in prayer and commitment to service.


Abbess: Rt Revd Dame Mary Thérèse Zelent OSB
Assumed office 30 March 1993


Dame Mary Eanfleda Barbara Johnson OSB