Introduction to the community
The Benedictine vision is a persevering quest for God through prayer and life in community. Thus prayer shapes the rhythm of each day: the corporate prayer of the Eucharist and seven-fold Office and our times for personal prayer and lectio divina. Simplicity and silence characterise our daily life of care for one another, our guests and the Abbey estate of which we are stewards.
We welcome opportunities to share the monastic heritage with members of emerging communities, with alongsiders and with ecumenical and interfaith friends. Several sisters participate in courses and events at St Benedict’s Centre and St Augustine’s College of Theology, who have shared the Abbey grounds since 2016.
We continue the tradition of Benedictine hospitality for residential guests in the Abbey Garth accommodation. The sisters’ manual work in the vegetable garden, orchards and grounds keeps our stewardship properly ‘earthed’, alive to ecology and climate change and is an important part of our prayer life.
For more details of the Community’s daily life and work, or to arrange a visit, please see our website.
Address: St Mary’s Abbey, 52 Swan Street, West Malling, Kent ME19 6JX, UK
Bishop Visitor: Rt Revd Laurie Green
Sisters Mary David & Miriam (editors), Living Stones: The Story of Malling Abbey, privately published, Malling Abbey, 2005
Third Order, Fellowship, Associates
Oblates are men and women who have been regular Abbey guests and who feel called by God to follow the Benedictine way in their lives outside the cloister. They have a 2½ year period of training before making a promise of conversion of life. Their commitment is expressed in a personal Benedictine rule of life, which balances their personal prayer, worship and lectio divina with their responsibility to family and work.
Alongsiders are women who, after visiting the Abbey Garth several times, wish to share in the life of the Community within the enclosure for a period of 3 months or more. This will enable them to experience a daily rhythm of prayer supported by an uncluttered, focussed and disciplined life. After living with the Community for a year, some alongsiders may wish to consider a longer stay involving a commitment of 2 or 3 years. Please see our website for details.