Monasteries are never without guests, notes St Benedict in his Rule (RB 53:16). St Benedict did not envisage his monasteries as existing primarily for the purpose of receiving passing guests. In fact, he saw them as sanctuaries for those who wished permanently to put aside the distractions of the world and seek Christ alone. Yet St Benedict recognised the attraction monasteries held for those in the world, and resigned himself with goodwill to making provision for guests, that they be welcomed as Christ (RB 53:1).
The Guesthouse at Douai Abbey offers guests 22 fully ensuite rooms.
Guests normally eat in the Guest Refectory, although some guests may be asked to join the monastic community for meals. Outside meal times, a guest courtyard offers a pleasant area to read or meditate.
Some groups wish to take their meals in silence, while others benefit from being able to talk. Where the two types coincide, they are usually seated at separate tables and are asked to be mindful of each other’s needs.
The kitchen is modern and well-equipped. Our small, dedicated staff produces food of high quality and can cater for a number of special dietary needs as listed on the booking form. Note that we cannot guarantee that all the ingredients supplied to us are prepared in a nut-free environment. Guests with very particular dietary needs are advised to bring their own food. If in doubt, the Guestmaster can advise you.
With the exception only of the monks’ private garden, our spacious grounds are available for our guests to enjoy, and there are several easy rural walks that can be made from the monastery. Naturally, all our guests are welcome to join the monks in the abbey church for our regular services of divine worship.
**NB - All guests and visitors are expected to abide by the rules of the monastery and guesthouse, and we reserve the right to refuse anyone admission. All persons at Douai - monks, staff, and other guests - should be treated with respect at all times. From time to time minors may be staying at Douai. Please feel free to check with us and arrange an alternative date if you prefer.