28th August, 2020

Opening Up Again (Gradually!)

Ampleforth Abbey

Warm greetings from Ampleforth. I hope this message finds you well in the midst of all that is happening. Here the community remains safe, thank God, and is operating as one household in order for it to be possible for us to live, eat and pray as a community. This in itself, as we have to follow government guidance for households, unfortunately currently restricts what we can offer in terms of hospitality.

While at the moment our retreat accommodation remains closed, it is our intention to begin opening again from 14th August. Although this will have a number of significant limitations, as outlined below, we felt it was important to take whatever steps we could to welcome our guests back, to the extent that current circumstances allow. At the moment this means we are able to receive only a relatively small number of guests who would like to come away for some quiet time. We will give it a try and see how much demand there is given the limitations we are operating under.

We will, of course, be continuing to monitor changes in guidelines and hope to be able to offer more as time goes by. We will let you know as soon as there are more changes.

We are doing everything we can to make sure your stay will be as safe as possible and, if you should decide to come, we will send details of the measures we are using and systems we will be following (and asking you to follow). Do get in touch if you would like to understand these ahead of your considering making a booking and we will send the latest details through to you.

We would love to see you here for some quiet time away and, if appropriate, look forward to having the pleasure of welcoming you again.

May we take this opportunity to send you best wishes and assure you of our continued prayer.

Yours in Christ,

Fr Kevin Hayden

(Dean of Hospitality)

There are certain limitations which remain with us

1. Social distancing across the site remains at 2 metres for the safety of all.

2. This limits the numbers for meals in the Tea Room to 12 individuals/households.

3. We are only able to use bedrooms that are either ensuite or have been assigned exclusive use of adjoining dedicated shower/wc facilities.

4. As current government guidelines limit indoor meetings to two households we are unable to offer retreat talks onsite.

5. The Abbey Church, community Office and Mass remain closed to the public for the time being. At the moment there is mass, celebrated by a member of the community, offered twice a week at 11:30 on Sundays and Wednesdays.

6. The Tea Room (except for guests), Abbey Shop and Visitor Centre remain closed but the grounds are open.

7. We are also unable to offer dormitory style accommodation in Alban Roe House.