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Alton faces austerity

16 August 2013

© Alton Abbey

At risk: the guest cloister at Alton

At risk: the guest cloister at Alton

ALTON Abbey, an Anglican Benedictine community in Hampshire, which also offers retreat facilities, is in a "critical" financial position, its Abbot, the Rt Revd Dom William Hughes OSB, announced this week.

In a statement posted on the abbey website on Tuesday, the Abbot said: "It seems that the recession that began two years ago, combined with significant rises in the cost of living and utility charges, has caught up with the Community at Alton Abbey."

He said that he had become "fully aware of the seriousness of our financial position - the position is critical. My Brethren and I now understand that significant measures have to be taken to protect our future and Ministry at Alton Abbey.

"Austerity measures have begun within the Monastery and we are exploring ideas of how best to improve our financial position. . . You may notice subtle changes to the ways in which we address hospitality and interaction with you, our extended family."

Financial pressures have led to the closure of several retreat houses in recent months. The retreat centre for the diocese of Coventry, Offa House, shut in March; and that for the diocese of Gloucester, Glenfall House, at the end of July ( News, 24 May).

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