Monastic Community

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monastic community

St Benet’s Hall traces its descent from the medieval Benedictine and Cistercian monastic colleges of Oxford, the earliest of which was founded in 1283. The colleges aimed to provide the monks of their time with a formation in theology, much as St Benet’s does today, as and when monastic students are in residence.

Within St Benet’s, Mass is celebrated daily and the Divine office is recited in choir, with monastic Vespers sung in Latin on three evenings a week. There are two senior monks in residence who form the core of the monastic community and provide support in their monastic life to the student monks.  In recent years the number of monks in residence has usually been about six. Within a small academic community like that of St Benet’s Hall, this number seems to work well.

The monastic core of St Benet’s is part of its essential character, appreciated by undergraduates, graduates and tutors alike. While the students and tutors of St Benet’s come from all religious traditions and none, living alongside monks always proves to be a positive experience for them. In turn, monk students can gain from mingling with a very diverse student body, while maintaining the monastic character of their life.