Spotlight on the Benedictines – Buckfast Abbey with Father Francis

Written by on 02/12/2020

Spotlight on the Benedictines – Buckfast Abbey

Nestled in a wooded valley on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, Buckfast Abbey is a living Benedictine monastery, famous for both its extraordinary history of Catholic revival and its tranquil atmosphere.

Originally founded in 1018, Buckfast was one of several abbeys in this part of Devon. The Abbey fell into ruins after the dissolution of the monasteries in the reign of King Henry VIII. It was restored by a group of exiled French monks in the Nineteenth Century and the beautiful Abbey church was re-built stone by stone by the monks themselves.

Since then, Buckfast Abbey’s monks have continued their life of prayer, work, study and community under the protection of their Patron, Our Lady of Buckfast.

In the true spirit of St. Benedict, they welcome many thousands of worshippers, pilgrims and holiday-makers each year.  Facilities include beautiful grounds, shops and a restaurant, to which has recently been added a hotel.  Many highly-pressured professionals enjoy the peace of the Abbey as a venue for conferences and these facilities are now being enhanced. The monks are currently considering whether to build a care village catering for people of all ages.

Father Francis became a monk at Buckfast Abbey in 1980, shortly after gaining a Degree in Physics from Durham University.  He has been privileged to serve his community at different times as bursar, novice master and parish priest and he is currently the Prior.

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