Benediktiner-Abtei Downside


Most of the major religions of the world have some form of monastic life.
In the Christian tradition, monks live in communities under the guidance of a rule and an abbot. Monastic life for Christians is essentially very simple.

We try to be faithful to the Gospel of Jesus and to be like the first Christian community in Jerusalem, where they had everything in common; they worshipped together and met the needs of others out of their own resources. This ideal of life is for us a road to God, a sure road that has been trodden by many saints. It is a road in which we can be sure of the companionship and support of our brethren and of Jesus Christ himself.

Monks live simple lives, we devote ourselves to prayer and any work that is necessary. We do not marry, since we are called by God to give our lives wholly to him and to spend our lives in seeking him.


A Monastery offers a place of silence and prayer for people to find God in their own lives.

Many find that making a retreat helps them step back from everyday worries and preoccupations to find spiritual renewal and new commitment to their journey of faith.

At Downside, the Monastery Guest House is open most of the year for private retreats or for a few days of peace and quiet alongside the monastic community. Guests are welcome to share in the prayer of the community, and normally eat with the community in the monastic refectory. For this reason we are sorry we can no longer receive women as guests. The Guesthouse at Downside Abbey consists of 11 rooms (all with en-suite facilities).

All enquiries and bookings must be made in writing to the Guest Master. Guests may stay for up to one week. There is no fixed charge, but guests are welcome to leave a donation in accordance with their means. It costs about £30 a day to provide full board and lodging; bed and breakfast costs are £25.

The Guest House is closed over the Christmas and Easter periods as well as at times during July and August when we are unable to provide hospitality. Please contact the Guest Master for more information about this.

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Please contact:
The Guestmaster
Downside Abbey
Stratton on the Fosse
Radstock BA3 4RH
Email dombenet(at)downside(dot)co(dot)uk
Tel 01761 235318