Mass of Dedication at Stanbrook Abbey

The community of Benedictine nuns at Stanbrook Abbey, Wass, North Yorkshire, are delighted to announce that their abbey church will be dedicated on Sunday 6 September 2015. The Mass of Dedication will be by invitation only. The community moved to Wass in 2009 from their previous home at Callow End, near Worcester. They have been using the chapter house as a chapel while waiting for the abbey church to be built.

The abbey church has been designed by Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios and built by QSP Construction. The interior and the liturgical placement were designed by Fr Daniel McCarthy OSB and Fr James Leachman OSB, in consultation with the community. There are choir stalls (designed by Fielden Clegg Bradley and John Griffiths) for 26 nuns, and seating for up to 60 guests.

The church is dedicated to Our Lady of Consolation, the patroness of the community, and a statue of Our Lady of Consolation from the monastery at Callow End stands in the new church. Also from the abbey church at Callow End are some Minton floor tiles (removed from the sanctuary when the altar in that church was replaced in 1971) and a statue of St Benedict (formerly on the High Altar and latterly in the extern chapel), which is now outside the church. The cross above the altar, designed and executed by Dame Werburg Welch OSB (1894-1990) in the 1930s, was previously in the Callow End chapter house.

The dedication ceremony will include the placing of the relics of St Fulgentia in the altar. These relics were previously in the abbey church at Callow End, and were removed when the church was deconsecrated in 2009, by the decree of the then Archbishop of Birmingham, Vincent Nichols. After the depositing of the relics, the altar and the church walls will be anointed with chrism oil.

The dedication Mass will be celebrated by Rt Rev Terence Patrick Drainey, Bishop of Middlesbrough. His Eminence Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster will give the Homily. Assisting at the dedication will be the Most Rev Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; Abbot Notker Wolf, Benedictine Abbot Primate; and Abbot Richard Yeo, Abbot President of the English Benedictine Congregation. A number of Benedictine and Cistercian abbots, abbesses, priors, and prioresses will also be in attendance, as will monks from Ampleforth Abbey, who act as chaplains to the community.

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