7th September, 2021

The Ampleforth Retreat Centre Project

The current exterior of The Grange, an Ampleforth Abbey retreat building

The past 18 months have been a season of great change for the Ampleforth Abbey community. As we move out of restrictions, our doors are reopening, and thanks to a generously given donation, a new chapter has begun at Ampleforth. 

It has long been our shared vision to be a real spiritual home, to offer hospitality to all those who come seeking nourishment. That vision, which lies at the core of who we are as a monastic community, has led us to expand and develop our hospitality ministry and to establish a refurbished Retreat Centre at Ampleforth, one that provides our guests with a haven in which to experience the love of God, and to leave refreshed, recharged and transformed. Thanks to the incredible gift of this donation, we can bring this vision to life and have taken the first steps to shaping the renewed Ampleforth Retreat Centre. 

Our vision for the Ampleforth Retreat Centre is to open that spiritual resource to a wider population of Christians and to all those seeking meaning in their life.  It is our mission to support them in their discernment on life’s journey and in their search for God’s love; to be a place where in safety they can find support, encouragement and guidance.  We aim to be welcoming to all, especially those who are underprivileged or excluded. 

 

“In today’s hectic environment where people have no time to listen to God’s voice, Benedictine convents and monasteries become oases where women and men of all ages, backgrounds, cultures and religions can discover the beauty of silence and the harmony of God’s creation”.  

Pope Francis 

 

Over the coming months we will be working across the site to make big changes to our retreat buildings. Thanks to feedback gathered from our valued guests, we have a strong understanding of what’s important and what will make your stay with us as comfortable as possible: you’ll find new bedrooms with en suites, fresh communal areas, and peaceful spaces for reflection.  

Behind-the-scenes we’ll also be exploring how we can use these new spaces in the best way. As we look ahead to opening our doors in late 2021, we’ll also be expanding our fantastic Pastoral team to include a Marketing Manager and a Youth Worker, who will join Katherine, Yvonne, and Ellie who recently joined the team as Retreat Centre Manager. Together, and with the community, they will be working on opening up what we offer and making sure the opportunity to come to Ampleforth is available to all. 

Overview of The Grange development
Plan of the refurbished Grange, with 16 bedrooms each with an en suite

First Steps 

On August 31st we welcomed contractors on site, and the first phase of work began on one of our most beloved retreat houses, The Grange. Our plans are ambitious and extensive, and will see the first floor transformed into 16 brand new bedrooms, each one complete with an en suite.  

On the ground floor, the entrance will be moved to the stunning main hallway and all communal spaces will be refreshed and comfortable. All works have been planned and outlined with you, our guests, at the heart, and so we are striving to create a home from home; a space that invites you in to share and grow with us in this special place. 

Work is scheduled to continue until later this year, but we’re taking bookings for January onwards and we’d love to welcome you to The Grange for your personal or group retreat. 

An example of the new Grange bedrooms
One of the 16 new bedrooms in The Grange

What’s Next? 

Over the next few months, we hope to update you on the next stage of the project. There are big plans for not only The Grange, but for Alban Roe, which will start to see progress later this year.  

 

We’d love you to be part of this journey with us, so make sure you’re signed up to our newsletter for regular updates or follow along on social media. Our 2021 programme is now live - find out more here.

If you’d like to enquire about any of our facilities or book The Grange from January onwards, please email our Pastoral team at pastoral@ampleforth.org.uk, or call on 01439 766489.