‘My house shall be a house of prayer for all the peoples’
Read an article about Abbotswick that was written by a retreatant and that appeared in The Tablet in November 2013: Space to Listen
Sr Agatha, a Franciscan sister, established Abbotswick House of Prayer as the first open house in the Diocese of Brentwood. Its aim was to provide a peaceful space for prayer and reflection, with a welcome for all. It has continued to do this for twenty-five years. When she and her community left Abbotswick in 2004, our newly established community was invited to continue running it along the same lines for the Diocese.
Abbotswick is both our place of residence and of ministry. As a contemplative community, our primary apostolate is prayer. Retreatants and day visitors are all invited to join us in our daily prayers. We particularly welcome you to join us on Thursdays when Eucharistic Adoration continues throughout the day for the intention of an increase of vocations to marriage, priesthood and religious life.
On an everyday basis, besides the time when the house is closed to the public, we welcome people who want to find space for silence and prayer. We try to provide a listening ear and support for those who are in bereavement or seeking spiritual direction. We also give input to communion and confirmation groups, lead retreat days for groups and give talks on a variety of topics. We also facilitate conferences for priests, parents and religious men and women as well as formation weekends for young adults.
One of our community’s primary missions is to accompany young people in their faith journey. This ties in with Bishop Alan’s request for us to do outreach to the schools in the Diocese of Brentwood. Our visits to schools are a wonderful opportunity to prompt the young people to think about their purpose of life, their vocation and for us to share the joy of our religious vocation. We also participate in the monthly Youth Mass and other initiatives of the Brentwood Catholic Youth Service when possible.