© Parish of St Michael and All Angels, Belmont Abbey, Hereford

Belmont Abbey Parish is part of Belmont Abbey Mission Trust (Registered Charity - 226277)

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The Abbey Church

The Parish Centre

The Benedictine Connection

Who Was St Benedict?

The church at Belmont was built to the designs of Edward Welby Pugin, son of the great Augustus Welby Pugin. Built in the decorated, early English style, it demonstrated the resurgent optimism of the restored Catholic faith. The exterior is in local pink sandstone, simple and unadorned, especially the west front which is reminiscent of many classical monastic facades of the fourteenth century. The interior is faced with warm Bath stone. Light from the rich aisle windows frequently suffuse the whole space. It is a beautiful place to sit on a sunny summer's afternoon.

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St Benedict was born in Nursia in Italy about the year 480 AD. The youthful Benedict felt a call to the monastic life while he was studying in Rome. He went into the rocky wilderness of Subiaco and lived as a hermit in a cave on the heights there. His evident holiness attracted disciples and he soon found himself Father or Abbot of a monastic settlement; he was moving from the hermit life toward the cenobitical or community monastic life.

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What is now the Belmont Parish Centre has a long and varied history. The hall is actually one of the oldest buildings on the site dating back to 1853 pre-dating the Abbey church by six years. It was built by the Wegg Prosser family as the parish church/school of SS. Peter & Paul and was served by a secular priest, Fr. David Lambe until the opening of the monastery.  The attached house was built as a convent for the Daughters of Charity who taught in the school until 1859.   Thereafter a lay teacher ran the school and lived with his family in the house.

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The English Reformation destroyed monastic life in England and Wales but in the seventeenth century English and Welsh Catholics who wished to follow a monastic vocation went into exile and later restored the English Benedictine Congregation in monasteries on the Continent of Europe. It was this Congregation which founded Belmont in 1859 with monies gifted from the Wegg-Prosser family and others, as the common House of Studies for the existing English monasteries at Downside and Ampleforth and later Douai and as the Cathedral Monastery for the newly formed Roman Catholic Diocese of Newport and Menevia (the whole of Wales and Herefordshire).

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