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An 'Alongsider' is someone who feels called by God to enter into a deeper relationship with him though the following of a monastic pattern of life to a certain degree for a specified time. An Alongsider is not a monastic, but can learn to seek God from monastic precepts.
After discussion and mutual agreement, one considering being an Alongsider will need to come to stay at the Abbey guest house at least four times over 6-12 months, for perhaps 3-4 days to one/two weeks. After these stays your application to live as an Alongsider will be considered.
In the first instance an Alongsider may come for 3 months. After this time there will be a review and if it seems right to the individual and the community, a longer stay may be considered.
As an Alongsider you will live in one of the guesthouses of the Abbey, attend the daily Offices with us (not necessarily all of them), work with us and take your main meal with the community in our refectory.
A member of the community will help you with the practicalities of our life. Through this experience you should gain monastic insights and spiritual growth that will assist in your life after your abbey experience.
You will be expected to follow the abbey timetable and will be assigned practical work each day. Your work may (for example, but not limited to) be in the garden, printery, incense making, kitchen, laundry, general housework. Much of the work is physically demanding so you will need to be in good health.
You will have a bedroom in one of the guest houses and share the house with others who come to the abbey for retreat and quiet time.
You will be expected to respect our monastic way of life and help maintain the prayerful silence of the abbey at all times. This will assist in your encounter of God in the silence and an enclosure of the heart.
Please make contact with us if you feel God may be calling you to this experience.