August 2016: In a venture of faith, we have recently welcomed the St. Benedict's Centre and the St. Augustine's College of Theology to share some of the buildings of Malling Abbey. This will provide space and the facilities for their work of equipping Christians in the South East for their ministry and vocation. The Centre and the College will be sharing in the Benedictine tradition of hospitality that began on this site in 1090.
This new venture was an outcome of our desire to be good stewards of the Abbey estate. By rearranging our own domestic space we were able to create a new guest wing, the Abbey Garth, thus making the Guest House and Pax House available for the Centre and College. In the Abbey Garth we can welcome our own residential guests. The Garth has 4 en-suite bedrooms, 2 sitting rooms and a fully equipped kitchen and dining room for the guests, who are all self-catering. Its windows overlook the nuns' garden on the south and the cloister garth on the east, both areas within the monastic enclosure.
A cloister garth is the traditional still centre of a monastery. It creates a central space and a linking passage between the business and domestic areas and the areas for prayer: the library, the chapter house and the church. Our garth also has a small pond and fountain as a focus for reflection and meditation. Thus our guests are able to share in the monastic peace and silence and make their own contribution to it.
In addition to our Abbey Garth we continue to welcome residential guests to St. Thomas Becket in the Gatehouse and St. Michael's Cottage in the Copse. Day guests coming for a quiet day or for private study will be accommodated at St. Benedict's Centre.