The Benedictine and Cistercian guest masters and guest mistresses of the UK and Ireland meet every two years for a hospitality conference. The last one was held in Pluscarden Abbey, Elgin, Scotland, in January 2020. It was January 2018 since Buckfast Abbey last had the honour of hosting this event.
This year’s meeting was the first post-Covid meeting. The Monasteries represented were: Hyning and Brownshill (Bernadine Cistercian); Chilworth Abbey (Benedictine); Tautra Abbey, Norway (Cistercian); Quarr Abbey (Benedictine); Mount St Bernard (Cistercian); Ampleforth Abbey; Douai Abbey and Belmont Abbey from our Congregation of the English Benedictines. There were twelve attendees including one lay hospitality manager.
On Wednesday the 24th January, Dom Leo from the Community of St Gregory the Great presented a paper on the role of the Guest Master in the Rule of St Benedict, and the present day.
The following day, Andy Kings our Safeguarding Co-ordinator presented a 45 minute power point presentation on Trauma informed awareness. We learnt about trauma awareness and identifying it. All the GM’s found it very useful.
In the evening of the 25th we hosted a Pizza experience at San Benedetto’s Pizzeria, alongside the Buckfast and St Gregory’s communities. More is learnt at these GM meetings chatting over coffee, tea, and meals. They went back to their monasteries on Friday singing the praises of Buckfast hospitality from monks, staff, and managers.