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
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).