Each year Notre Dame’s lay chaplain and teaching staff accompany students on a visit to Ampleforth Abbey. The purpose of this annual trip is to provide the opportunity to enjoy a period of quiet reflection, and come into the presence of God.
On 17 and 18 October 2019, eleven students travelled to the Abbey, accompanied by alumnus Alex Noad, who has experience of working with young people in religious settings. While at the Abbey, the group explored the history of its monastic community and spoke to one of the Benedictine monks about his daily life. As the Abbey’s website explains, ‘Ampleforth Abbey is home to a community of more than 55 monks who seek God according to the Gospel and the Rule of St Benedict. (Find out more here.)
Our students also visited the chocolate factory at Ampleforth Plus; a social enterprise that trains ‘people with autism and learning disabilities in vocational and administration placements.’ The land, premises, and much of the equipment used by Ampleforth Plus is provided by the Ampleforth Abbey Trust.
No visit to Ampleforth would be complete without spending time in the beautiful 2,000 acre estate, enjoying the tranquil surroundings and visiting the Abbey’s lakes. Our students certainly benefited from this peaceful retreat, one stating that it ‘had been enlightening.’