Who are the Friends of the Monastery?
We are an incorporated, non-profit association that is looking after the buildings and facilities – including the grounds, the Gunya Chiara, (the House of Clare) the Guest House and the Monastery itself, incorporating the distinctively beautiful mud-brick Chapel which is dedicated to Mary. These were left vacant when the Sisters left, and the future of the property was in doubt. The Anglican Franciscan family consists of three Orders.
The First Order: Brothers or Sisters who live in community, such as those at the Hermitage of St Bernardine, Stroud; the Second Order: Sisters – The Community of St Claire, who live an enclosed life of prayer; and the Third Order: open to ordinary lay or ordained people who desire to walk with St Francis and St Clare on their Christian journey.
The Monastery was built in the 70’s with the help of people [Muddies] from around Australia who made mud bricks for the highly original buildings, which reflectFranciscansimplicity in their use of second hand materials that emerged from the sheds and garages ofgenerous donors. It is a place to contemplate the beauty of Christ & the beauty of creation; and to feel the stirring of the Spirit in your soul. The Monastery of the Blessed Virgin Mary, St Clare’s Rd. (off Buckett’s Way) Stroud. The former home of Sr. Angela and the Sisters of St Clare. (an Anglican Franciscan Order)
What are our Goals?
1. To maintain and manage the existing facilities… in a way which continues to reflect the Franciscan tradition and which awakens the diocese and wider church to the value of a simpler lifestyle.
2. To promote at the Monastery, within the Franciscan tradition, the values of simplicity, peace, hope and healing for those seeking pilgrimage and contemplation in a beautiful and unique environment.
3. To continue the work and life already carried out there by the First Order of the Society of St Francis by providing a resource for individuals and groups to explore spirituality, peace and social justice through retreats, conferences and other similar activities
4. To explore a long-term future for the Monastery.
Why would I join?
We rely on subscriptions and the income we receive from hiring out the facilities to care for and preserve the Monastery. You can be a part of a group that provides a spiritual oasis for people with troubled souls and weary bodies to find spiritual refreshment and bodily rest. You can help promote Franciscan values in today’s world. The love of Christ, the Spirit of love and harmony; and simplicity. Franciscans value and work for peace, and respect and revere God’s creation. You will be invited to theAnnual ‘Friends’ Retreat, and to other events throughout the year.