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Run to the Son

Theme and Flavour

Welcome to the Run to the Son web page.  We will be spending time together the weekend of 23rd-25th June 2017, to deepen our encounter with Jesus, the Son of God, who brings real purpose and meaning to our lives.  So many in our society and culture do not know Him, or the beauty of an encounter with Him.  Some have walked away from our faith without knowing that it is within the Church that we experience and grow in our love of Him.  
Do come, and learn with others, how we can make many more, His disciples.”

Bishop Mark O'Toole

‘The Dawn from on high will break upon us.’ Luke 1: 78

The 2017 Run to the Son prayer festival was a great success and we plan on holding this event again in June of 2018. Below you will find some photographs of the event and a review from one of the participants, Andrew.

Run to the Son - New prayer festival for evangelisation off to a good start

A new format of prayer festival was established at Buckfast Abbey in Devon from 23rd – 25th June. The aim of the event, called Run to the Son, was specifically to equip Catholics for the urgent task of evangelisation. As Michele Thompson, co-organiser of the weekend says, “there is a lot of talk about the need for evangelisation and that’s good, but we wanted to create something which will actually give people what they need to go out and do it”.

The plan is for Run to the Son to become an annual event to join the likes of New Dawn, Youth 2000, Celebrate, and others, but with its own unique approach. There were workshops and an inspiring talk from Brother John Bosco of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. The highlight of the weekend was an all-night Adoration vigil with midnight procession of the Blessed Sacrament around the Abbey grounds, followed by a dawn Mass at 5.30am celebrated by Bishop Mark O’Toole. As one participant said, “although I had attended an all-night vigil before, the midnight procession was an amazing experience which summarised the whole weekend – taking God’s love out into the darkness of our world”.

The event was the brainchild of Fr Jon Bielawski and Abbot David Charlesworth of Buckfast Abbey. Fr Jon, who is head of the Plymouth Diocese evangelisation team, attended an all-night vigil in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at Buckfast as a young man. As he explains, “the memory of seeing the beautiful stained-glass window of Jesus light up with the dawn has stayed with me over the years and provided the inspiration for this event”.  

The timing of Run to the Son was also intentionally planned close to the summer solstice to underline the fact that Jesus is Lord of all creation and to emphasise the need to evangelise our contemporary neo-pagan culture.
The fact that the weekend took place at Buckfast underlines the generosity of the monastery and the creative way in which a contemplative community can aid the New Evangelisation.

Map and Sample Programme of Events

Map and Sample Programme of Events


From Exeter on the A38
Come off the A38 for Buckfastleigh and follow the signs for Buckfast Abbey. To get to St Boniface House: come off the A38 for Buckfastleigh and take the 2nd right towards Ashburton. St Boniface House is 900 metres along the road on the left.

From Plymouth on the A38
Come off the A38 for Buckfastleigh and follow the signs for Buckfast Abbey. To get to St Boniface House: come off the A38 for Buckfastleigh and take the 1st right towards Ashburton. St Boniface House is 900 metres along the road on the left.

Note: The is no meal served on the Friday evening - tea and coffee, soup and a roll are available.

Welcome  2100 – 2200

Social time  2200 – 2300
Breakfast between 0730 and 0900

Morning prayer in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel 0930 – 1000

Keynote Address in Schiller Hall – Brother John Bosco 1030 – 1130 

Mass in Abbey Church  1205

Lunch 1300 – 1400
Free time to explore Buckfast Abbey, rest, relax, read,play,  pray, walk, (some activities will also be on offer) 1400 – 1600

Workshops and discussion groups in St. Cuthbert’s Conference Centre   1600 – 1730

BBQ evening meal  1900 – 2030

VIGIL commences in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel from 2130 – 0530 including midnight procession of the Blessed Sacrament
Dawn Mass with Bishop Mark  0530

Breakfast and pack up from 0630

Optional Monastery Sunday Mass at 1030

Please note that this is a draft programme and is subject to change. 

Booking Form

Booking form

For more information about next years festival please call:

Geoff Pring on 01364 645532 or email

Blessing of Oulton Abbey Care Home - 6th September 2017

The new Care Home at Oulton Abbey was blessed by Abbot David on Wednesday 6th September. In the 20th century Buckfast supplied five chaplains for the Benedictine Nuns of Oulton and we continue our association with Oulton to this day. The Care Home in the former school was opened in the 1980s. The buildings were no longer up to the standard required thus a new care home was built in the grounds of the Abbey. As a point of interest the Abbey Church was the first church designed by Edward Pugin when only 19 years old. He was the son of A W Pugin.

Summer Food Fair - 15th July 2017

Locally sourced produce available in the Abbey grounds. The event organised by The Grange, the restaurant adjacent to the Abbey Church.

Run to the Son - 23rd-25th June 2017

Diocese of Plymouth at Buckfast - Prayer and Inspiration forMission. Photographs show the Vigil which started at 23:30, followed by Procession of the Blessed Sacrament, then Dawn Mass on Sunday morning celebrated by the Bishop at 05:30.

Mary: Icon of the Church

Mary – Icon of the Church
The Role of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The doctrine of the Trinity contains within it the reason for the uniqueness of humanity’s relationship with God – Jesus, being true God and true man unites divinity ...

Kindness: a School Mass

Kindness – a School Mass

Jesus says that we must love others as he loves us. We must think about what he might mean by this. In the first place we know that he showed his love by allowing ...

Baptism of Teddy

Baptism of Teddy

Living as a Christian means wanting to be a complete human being. We easily think of the Christian claim that Jesus is God, but we should also think that Jesus is a human being in the fullest ...

Garden Philosophy and Organics

A walk and talk with the Abbey's Head Gardener.

Plymouth Diocese Silent Retreat in October

Choose from: Friday 6th to Sunday 8th of October (weekend retreat) Monday 9th of to Friday 13th of October (midweek retreat) Friday 6th of to Friday 13th October (6 day retreat)

Buckfast Abbey: History, Art and Architecture - Book Launch and Conference

Come and attend this unique occasion to hear from highly respected authors who have contributed to the forthcoming publication "Buckfast Abbey: History, Art and Architecture" edited by Rev Peter Beacham.