Come and see - welcome to our website

It gives us great joy to welcome you to our website and, of course, to Belmont Abbey. Please note that there is also a Belmont Abbey in North Carolina, USA, so if that's the one you're looking for, try again!

The Abbey of St Michael and All Angels at Belmont, together with our foundation in Peru, the Monastery of the Incarnation at Pachacamac, and our incorporated parishes at Abergavenny, Belmont, Weobley and Whitehaven, are all part and parcel of the organic whole we call Belmont Abbey. In addition, our monks serve on several diocesan parishes, help in the work of other monasteries and serve as chaplains to enclosed nuns and the Armed Forces. In all the monastic community is made up of about forty monks. We belong to the English Benedictine Congregation, but as is the monastic tradition each house is autonomous and a charitable trust in its own right.

We hope you find everything you are looking for on our website. Unfortunately, there have been quite a few glitches in recent times, so we hope to have a new website in the not too distant future. In the meantime, make yourselves at home and let us know if there is anything more you would like to know about Belmont or see on our website. If you would like to visit or stay with us for a retreat, then write to the Abbot or to the Guest Master and we will get back to you at once.

We ask for your prayers and assure you of ours.

Abbot Paul and the Belmont Community

Upcoming Events

Wednesday Lent Days

Since the time of Elijah, Jews and Christians on Mount Carmel have lived praiseworthy lives in holy penitence, a spirit which has been spread throughout the world. During Lent we deepen our devotions through exploring the rich spirituality of the Carmelite

The next session is on Wednesday 29 March entitled Teresa of Avila, Daughter of the Church by Dom Bernard

The session consists of Morning Coffee 10.00, Talk 10.30, Mass 12.00, 1.00 Simple Bread and Soup lunch; Talk 2.00; Finishes with Tea 3.30pm. Suggested Offering £10 which includes the soup lunch.

Click here for the full schedule of Wednesday Lent Days.


Recent News

Abbot Jerome Hodkinson Memorial Fund


Ever since Abbot Jerome departed this life in July, friends and admirers have expressed an overwhelming desire to contribute to a memorial fund in his honour. Some would like to give towards his gravestone, while others would like to help with a project close to his heart.

As a result, we have decided to open a memorial fund for both intentions: the purchasing and engraving of his tombstone, which is estimated to cost £6,500, and the setting up of the Belmont Apiary, to be run by Br Dunstan. As we all know, Abbot Jerome was a lover and connoisseur of honey and a great believer in its therapeutic properties.


If you would like to contribute to this fund in any way, please contact Fr Abbot or one of the brethren.


Dom Cadfan Williams made an Ecumenical Companion at Hereford Cathedral

On Sunday, March 19th, Dom Cadfan Williams was installed as an Ecumenical Companion at Hereford Cathedral.

He has been invited at be the Catholic Ecumenical Companion for the next five years by the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral.

We congratulate Fr Cadfan on his appointment.

Click here for some photographs from after the event.



Ash Wednesday

In a few moments, ashes will be blessed and placed on our heads as a sign of repentance and conversion. It is the traditional way in which we begin Lent in the Western Church. The prayer of blessing takes its theme from the well-known words of the Prophet Ezequiel, "Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord God, and not that he should turn from his ways and live?" (Ez. 18:23)

Click here to keep reading Abbot Paul's Homily.

Pictures and News from Peru

Fr Alex, Br Percy and Br Juan Edgar painting Pascal Candles ready for sale, though many have been ordered in advance.


Br Juan Edgar in the bakery with the week's supply of bread rolls for monks and guests. The food in the monastery is excellent: all the brothers cook really well and all the food is freshly made and locally sourced.

Our three aspirants (the stage before becoming a postulant) visiting the parish church of Pachacamac, one of the oldest in Peru, dedicated to the Holy Saviour.

Fr Jonathan carrying out some manual work. He is currently visiting the community in Peru and returns at the end of March.

Br Juan Edgar and Fr Jonathan visiting the churches of Lima.

Abbot's Homily 8th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A

Words help us create thoughts and ideas or conjure up pictures in our mind. Looking back on our childhood, which came first? It's hard to say. The Bible is full of words to describe God. There are nouns and adjectives, such as Lord and almighty; there are comparisons: God is like a shepherd or a warrior, for example. Today's readings are full of words and phrases, which enrich our knowledge and understanding of God. We also find words that describe you and me and our relationship with God. It's fascinating.

Click here to continue reading Abbot Paul's Homily.


Solemn Profession of Dom Dunstan Nelson

At the solemn Conventual Mass for the Feast of the Purification of Our Lady and Presentation of Our Lord, Candlemas 2017, Dom Dunstan Nelson made his Solemn Profession.
Dom Dunstan, Paul Keith Nelson, was born and spent most of his life at Ipswich and is 39 years' old. He studied Molecular Biology at Portsmouth University and Soil Management at Cranfield University.
He has both a B.Sc. and an M.Sc. He is a convert to the Catholic faith and, after a period of discernment came to Belmont as a Postulant in 2012. He was clothed in the habit on 1st February 2013 and made his Temporary Profession on 2nd February 2014. He has studied nursing care of the elderly at Holy Cross Convent, Heathfield, and is at present studying Philosophy with the School of the Annunciation, Buckfast Abbey.
He also hopes to start beekeeping at Belmont in the near future. We pray for his happiness and perseverance in the monastic life as a monk of Belmont.

Click here to read Abbot Paul's homily from the profession Mass.

Click here to see photographs from the profession Mass.

On 1st February, Br Alistair Findley, a contemporary of Dom Dunstan in the monastic life, renewed his vows at Sant'Anselmo, Rome, where he is studying Theology. He hopes to take his Solemn vows later this year.

Abbot's Homily for the Epiphany 2017

The birth of any child is an Epiphany, i.e. a manifestation of the loving mercy of God, who gives us the gift of new life, a life made in his image and likeness. Many of you here this morning will know what Mary and Joseph felt like when they saw visitors arrive to see the newborn baby. They can't have been surprised when a group of shepherds came the night of his birth, though their message, given to them by the angels, of the birth of a saviour caused Mary to ponder and treasure in her heart everything she knew about her child, his conception by the working of the Holy Spirit and the fact that she had remained a virgin even after his birth. Then, there was his name, Jesus, the Holy Name given to Joseph by an angel in a dream.

Click here to continue reading Abbot Paul's Homily.

Abbot's Homily Christmas Day 2016

At Midnight Mass, we heard from St Luke's Gospel how Jesus came to be born. At the Dawn Mass, St Luke described the visit of the shepherds, how "they found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger." There they become the first evangelists, as they repeat for everyone to hear, what the angels had told them, "Today in the town of David a saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord." We are told that, "Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart." Our Lady, of course, had had a long time to ponder what was going on, ever since that day when the Angel Gabriel appeared to her to announce that, through the working of the Holy Spirit, she would conceive and bear a son, whom she was to name Jesus. "He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David; he will rule over the house of Jacob for ever and of his kingdom there will be no end." The shepherds confirmed what she already knew, that she was the Mother of God and that, in the mystery of the Incarnation, God had become man.

Click here to continue reading Abbot Paul's Homily.

Abbot's Homily Midnight Mass

Do not be afraid. I bring you news of great joy. Today a Saviour has been born for you: he is Christ the Lord."

We have just heard from St Luke's Gospel how Jesus was born. Before that we heard the prophecy of Isaiah, who spoke of "a child born for us, a son given to us." In fact "the people that walked in darkness has seen a great light." God "has made their gladness greater, their joy increase." St Paul, writing to Titus, looks forward to the Second Coming, the return of Christ at the end of time. "We are waiting in hope for the blessing which will come with the Appearing of the glory of our great God and saviour Jesus Christ." So tonight, we look back with rejoicing to the birth of the Messiah in a stable at Bethlehem, a child laid in a manger, fragile and powerless, while at the same time we look forward to his coming in glory to be our merciful Judge and to inaugurate once and for all the Kingdom of his Father. The Babe of Bethlehem, whom we adore tonight together with Mary and Joseph, the shepherds, the angels and the whole of creation, is the Saviour who died on a Cross, was raised from the dead and has poured out the Holy Spirit on all who believe him to be the Son of God.

Click here to continue reading Abbot Paul's Homily

Abbot Paul Re-elected

On the morning of 16th November, Dom Paul Stonham was re-elected Abbot of Belmont for a third term of eight years.

This is a historic occasion, as Dom Paul is the first Abbot of Belmont to be re-elected for a third term.

He was first elected in December 2000, when Abbot Mark Jabalé was appointed Co-adjutor Bishop of Menevia.

The monastery at Belmont, which was founded in 1859, became an abbey in 1920 and Dom Paul is its eleventh abbot. The Community numbers some forty monks.



All Saints' Day

"I saw a huge number, impossible to count, of people from every nation, race, tribe and language; they were standing in front of the throne of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and with palms in their hands."

This vision of heaven lies at the heart of the Feast of All Saints, which began life as a celebration of the martyrs, many of whom were unknown by name. The only way to be sure was to have a feast in honour of them all.

Click here to read the rest of Abbot Paul's homily.

Vespers at Hereford Cathedral

For the feast of St Thomas Cantilupe, 2nd October 2016. The Belmont Community were invited to sing Vespers at Hereford Cathedral.

Click here to read Abbot Paul's homily.


Homily for the Feast of St Michael & All Angels

On the occasion of his Diamond Jubilee of profession Dom David Bird was invited by Abbot Paul to preach the homily at the Conventual Mass for the Solemnity of St Michael and All Angels.

"Angels are out of fashion, but people are fascinated by devils. Films about possession and exorcism attract huge crowds: few would wish to see a film about angelic activity. Only a few days ago, the death of a Vatican exorcist was on the national and international news, His death would not have been news if he had been involved with good angels'. Many reject a belief in angels but hesitate to disbelieve in devils."

Click here to read the rest of Fr David's homily.

Final Address to the Congress of Abbots
by the new Abbot Primate

Click here to read the Final Address given by the new Abbot Primate, Dom Gregory Polan, at the end of the Abbots' Congress on 16th September.

Here we see him after his election, greeting Abbot Paul.

Abbot Paul meets Pope Francis

Second Mass at Rotherwas

On Saturday, 17th September, a Requiem Mass was celebrated at Rotherwas Chapel by Dom Boniface Hill of Downside Abbey for the repose of the soul of Henry Lubienski-Bodenham, on the centenary of his death at the Battle of the Somme. Henry had been a boy at Downside and Headboy of the School. He was killed just 4 days after Cecil Francis Joseph Wegg-Prosser of Belmont House.

Rotherwas Chapel, dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady, together with the Great House and Estate had been in the hands of the Bodenham family from 14th Century until the First World War.

A group of Friends of Downside arranged for the Mass to be celebrated and a small schola of Belmont monks sang the Latin Mass.

On the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, Pope Francis received the abbots of the Benedictine Confederation in a private audience in the Sala Clementina of the Apostolic Palace. He encouraged us and our communities to be faithful to the Benedictine Rule and Tradition, reminding us that we are the heart of the Church, which relies on our prayers and example. He emphasised the Benedictine motto "PAX", saying that our monasteries should be "oases of peace" in a troubled world. He told us not to worry if our communities are smaller than before and ageing. We must never doubt the value and the beauty of our vocation and the fact that it is God's precious gift to each one of us.

Pope Francis then greeted and spoke with all the abbots present. He expressed great interest in Belmont and in our foundation in Peru and sent his blessing to all our monks and oblates, asking us for our prayers for himself and his ministry.

New Abbot Primate of
Benedictine Confederation elected

On the morning of 10th September 2016, Abbot Gregory Polan OSB of Conception Abbey, Missouri, USA, was elected Abbot Primate at the Congress of Abbots meeting in Rome, held every four years.

Abbot Paul is taking part in the Congress of Abbots and is pictured here with the new Abbot Primate.

Fr Cadfan retires as Monastery Guest Master

After many years' service to the Community as Monastery Guest Master, Fr Cadfan retired at the end of August.

We know that all our guests would wish to join us in thanking him for the wonderful way in which he has cared for visitors to Belmont.

He will now dedicate his many gifts in developing and extending Belmont's ecumenical relations as our Ecumenical Officer.

Our new Guest Master is Br Patrick, recently ordained a Deacon in Rome.

New Mission for Fr Andrew

On Monday, 29th August, Fr Andrew became Parish Priest of St. Joseph's, Warndon, Worcester, a parish in the Archdiocese of Birmingham for which Belmont has agreed to take on pastoral care for the next three years.

The parish takes in the northern part of Worcester and the church, presbytery and primary school, all on one campus, are just half a mile from the M5 Worcester North exit. We wish Fr Andrew every blessing and happiness as he begins this new mission as part of Belmont's pastoral and spiritual outreach.

Celebrations to mark the 35th anniversary of the founding of the Monastery of the Incarnation in Peru

On 20th August 1981, Fr Luke, Fr David and Fr Paul arrived in Tambogrande together with Abbot Jerome to inaugurate life at the Monastery of the Incarnation.
On 11th August 1986, Fr Paul moved to the small purpose-built monastery at San Lorenzo, about 10 miles from Tambogrande, but conditions were very hard.
In August 2006, the Community moved to their new monastic buildings at Pachacamac, about 20 miles south of Lima.
The local Bishop, Mons. Carlos Garcia Camader, suggested there should be a celebration to mark the occasion. This took place on Saturday, 20th August, in the presence of about 100 guests.
We congratulate our Peruvian brethren on the 35th anniversary of their monastery, as well as all the Belmont monks who have been associated with it over the 35 years.
Ad multos annos.

Click here for more photographs.

Holy Mass at Rotherwas Chapel

On 15th August, Solemnity of the Assumption of Our Lady, patronal feast of Rotherwas Chapel, Holy Mass was celebrated by Fr Abbot in the presence of a large congregation.
This was the first Mass to be celebrated at this beautiful and historic church since it closed in 1912. It had belonged throughout penal days to the Bodenham Family.
A full history of the church can be found on the English Heritage website and others. The Mass was organised by the recently-formed Friends of Rotherwas Chapel in conjunction with English Heritage.

Click here for photographs from the Mass.

Of your charity pray
for the repose of the soul of


Monk of Belmont
Abbot 1970 - 1986
Titular Abbot of Shrewsbury

who died on the evening of 12th July 2016.

He was 87 years of age,
had been professed for 68 years
and ordained a priest for 61 years.

His Requiem Mass and Burial took place
on Friday, 29th July.

Click here to read Abbot Paul's Homily

           Requiescat in pace.

Solemnity of St Peter and St Paul

"I have kept the faith," wrote St Paul. At Caesarea Philippi, Jesus asked his disciples, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter replied on behalf of the Twelve, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." On the road to Damascus, Saul asked, "Who are you, Lord?" It was the Christ, the Son of the living God, who replied, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting." Both Peter and Paul came to believe, not through human inspiration but divine revelation, that Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Messiah, the Christ, the Son of the living God. That discovery of faith brought with it the realization that they had also been chosen and called by him to be his apostles, and this in spite of their human weaknesses, idiosyncrasies and sinfulness. "My grace is enough for you." Through grace and the gift of the Holy Spirit, Peter and Paul became passionate lovers of Jesus Christ and lived their lives for him alone. "It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me."

Click here to read the rest of Abbot Paul's homily

New Novice at Belmont

On the evening of Sunday, 10th July, Vigil of the Feast of St Benedict, Patron of Europe, our postulant, Wyn Thomas, was clothed as a novice. He took the name Benedikt (yes, with a K) in honour of St Benedict and also of a close friend, who died recently, an Austrian Benedictine monk, who had been a great help to him spiritually. No doubt in time we will all get used to writing Benedikt with a K. Br Benedikt, whose first language is Welsh, was born in Carmarthenshire and, until he came to Belmont as a postulant, worked at the National Library of Wales. Aberystwyth. He also has a License in Ecclesiastical History from the Gregorian University, Rome. We pray for his perseverance and happiness in the monastic life.

Br Patrick's Ordination to the Diaconate

Dom Patrick Lobo was ordained as a Deacon by Archbishop Malcolm McMahon O.P. of Liverpool at the Basilica of St Paul outside the Walls in Rome, together with eight fellow students from the Beda, on Wednesday, 15th June 2016. Br Patrick was accompanied and supported by Abbot Paul, Fr Michael and Br Alistair from Belmont and Canon William Isaac of Cardiff as well as by members of his family and the Benedictine Community of St Paul. Following the beautiful and moving Ordination Mass, there was a truly magnificent reception for all guests at the Beda College.

Click here for a few photographs taken after the Ordination.

Of your charity pray
for the repose of the soul of


Monk of Belmont
Cathedral Prior of Rochester

who died on the evening of 9th June 2016.

He was 89 years of age,
had been professed for 68 years
and ordained for 63 years.

His Requiem and Burial took place
on Thursday, 23rd June.

Click here to read Abbot Paul's Homily

May he rest in peace.

Recent Events

Corpus Christi Procession

On the afternoon of Sunday, 29th May, for the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the Community celebrated Pontifical Vespers at the earlier time of 4.00pm.

Immediately following Vespers a Corpus Christi Procession in honour of the Blessed Sacrament took place in the grounds of the Abbey.

Click here to see the photographs of the procession

Annual Torchlight Procession

On the night of Wednesday, 11th May, the annual Torchlight Procession in honour of Our Lady was held at Belmont Abbey.

This was the 31st May Procession to be held at Belmont since the event started on the second Wednesday in May 1985.

Click here for more information and photographs

Corpus Christi

"Do this as a memorial of me." St Paul relates in First Corinthians that Jesus said these words at the Last Supper, both of the bread and of the cup: "This is my body, which is for you. This cup is the new covenant in my blood." Paul himself adds, "Until the Lord comes, therefore, every time you eat this bread and drink this cup, you are proclaiming his death." So it is that Jesus transforms a simple Passover meal into the heavenly Banquet, the Marriage Feast of the Lamb. That is what we do every time we gather together as God's family to celebrate the Eucharist, the Sacrifice of the Mass.

Click here to read the rest of Abbot Paul's Homily.

Pentecost Sunday

"In one Spirit we were all baptised and one Spirit was given to us all to drink." That was the life-shattering experience of St Paul. He wrote about it in many different ways. In the Acts of the Apostles, we are simply told that, "they were all filled with the Holy Spirit," while in St John's Gospel, it is Jesus himself who breathes on the apostles and says, "Receive the Holy Spirit." Whether they are baptised and filled with living water or receive the Spirit as breath and life, one thing is clear from the New Testament: the Holy Spirit is a gift of God given us through and by the Risen Christ.

Click here to read the rest of Abbot Paul's Homily.

Ascension Sunday

The Acts of the Apostles takes over the story of the Ascension just where Luke's Gospel leaves off. "Now as he blessed them, Jesus withdrew from them and was carried up to heaven. They worshipped him and then went back to Jerusalem full of joy; they were continually in the Temple praising God." But before they return to Jerusalem, the angels ask them why they are standing there looking up into the sky. They tell the disciples that Jesus, whom they have seen ascending into heaven, will come back again just as they have seen him go.

Click here to read the rest of Abbot Paul's Homily.


News from Peru

Patronal Feast

Because of an early Easter this year, the Solemnity of the Annunciation has been transferred to Monday, 4th April. It is the Patronal Feast of the Monastery of the Incarnation at Pachacamac in Peru.

First Peruvian Oblates

On Sunday, 15th May, the Solemnity of Pentecost, our first five Peruvian Oblates made their Profession at the Monastery of the Incarnation at Pachacamac, just south of Lima.
Fr Alex received their Promises as Oblates and Br Mario is the Oblate Master. We congratulate both the Community and their Oblates and assure them of our prayers and support.

Click here to see the photographs from the obltations

At the beginning of March the Abbot President, Dom Richard Yeo, and the Abbot of Envigado-Guatapé in Colombia, Dom Guillermo Arboleda, made the canonical visitation of the Monastery of the Incarnation, during which Dom David Bird resigned as Superior on account of ill health. As a result of this, Fr Abbot, with the approval of the Community of the Incarnation, appointed Dom Alex Echeandía as Prior for a period of three years. We thank Fr David for the good work he has done for the monastic community over the past 9 years and pray that Fr Alex's period of service will be happy and fruitful and that the Community grow in number and holiness, as we read in the Rule of St Benedict.

Click here for some recent photographs of the Community in Peru.

14th Century fresco from Ohrid in Macedonia.

Abbot Paul's Homilies for Holy Week & Easter 2016

Palm Sunday

Maundy Thursday

Good Friday

Holy Saturday

Easter Sunday

Community News

Centenary of the Archdiocese of Cardiff

The Archdiocese of Cardiff was created by Pope Benedict XV on 7th February 1916, ultimately the fruit of the apostolic labours of Bishop Joseph Thomas Brown and Bishop John Cuthbert Hedley, both Benedictines whose cathedral church was at Belmont.

To celebrate the occasion, the monks of Belmont sang Vespers at
St David's Cathedral, Cardiff, on Saturday, 6th February.

Click here to see the photographs from the Vespers.

There was also a special Mass of Thanksgiving,
celebrated by Archbishop George Stack,
at Belmont on Sunday, 7th February.

Click here to see the photographs from the Mass.

Click here to read the Homily given by Abbot Paul.

Dom David Yates makes his Solemn Profession

On 2nd February, the feast of Candlemas, Dom David Yates made his Solemn Profession as a monk of Belmont Abbey. The Rite of Profession took place during the Conventual Mass that had begun with the Blessing of Candles in the Monastery Cloister and Procession into the Abbey Church.

A large congregation took part, including Dom David's mother and a group of friends who had come especially for the great day. Following the Mass, Dom David entered into a three-day retreat, the three days in the tomb, as is the ancient monastic custom still practised by the English Benedictine Congregation.

We congratulate Dom David and ask your prayers for his intentions.

Click here to read the homily given by Abbot Paul.

Click here to see the photographs from the day.

Abbot's Christmas Day Homily 2015

"From his fullness we have all received grace in return for grace, for grace and truth have come through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is nearest the Father's heart, who has made him known." With this powerful image, St John ends the Prologue to his Gospel. In fact, Christians live each day of their lives as, through grace, Jesus makes known to us his Father's love and teaches us the truth which sets us free from the tyranny of sin, purifies our hearts and prepares us to see God face to face. This is the mystery of Christmas: this is the Christmas story.

Click here to read the rest of the Abbot's homily

The Jubilee Year of Mercy
On Gaudete Sunday, 13th December, at the beginning of the Conventual Mass, the Holy Door at Belmont was opened at a moving ceremony at which a large congregation was present. Abbot Paul was the chief celebrant and the preacher was the Most Reverend Kevin McDonald, Archbishop Emeritus of Southwark. The door had been beautifully decorated by Dom Bernard Wassall. There is a full programme of events planned to take place throughout the Holy Year. If you wish to organise a parish or group pilgrimage, please contact Fr Abbot or Br Bernard.
Photographs showing the Opening of the Holy Door at Belmont Abbey.

Abbot's Homily for Christmas Eve 2015

"Do not be afraid. Behold, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people." We have come tonight to hear that message once again and to be filled with great joy. The birth of Jesus, the Messiah, takes all our fears away, gives us hope and reason to rejoice. Even so, for many, this Christmas it must be difficult to rejoice let alone have hope.

Click here to read the Abbot's homily

Solemn Profession of Dom Patrick Lobo

Today the 8thSeptember 2015, Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, Dom Patrick Lobo made his Solemn Profession as a monk of Belmont. The Rite of Profession took place during the Conventual Mass in the Abbey Church surrounded by members of his family, friends from Rome and members of the monastic community. Br. Patrick, who was born in Kenya of Goan parents, began his monastic formation six years' ago and is at present studying for the Priesthood at the Beda College in Rome. We ask you to pray for Dom Patrick.
Read the abbot's homily
Photographs of the ceremony