Proposed visit to Le Bec Hellouin – 2009

Bec Abbey

Next year is the 900th anniversary of the death of St Anselm. As well as being Archbisop of Canterbury, he also succeeded St Hellouin, the founder and first abbot of the Abbey of Bec, as abbot. As a way of marking this anniversary we are exploring the idea of a taking a group of people to Bec.

Initial thinking is that a small group (no more than 12) visit Bec (Normandy) next June for 3 days. There are 2 Olivettan Benedictine houses there, monks at the original Abbey of Bec and nuns in the Monastere Ste Francoise Romaine in St Martin du Parc, some 2km away. We would stay at the latter. This is only a place for the able bodied and conditions are “monastic”.

I need to discuss with the sisters yet, but I would suggest that a study theme would be how their communities developed their offices from Gregorian chant, post-Vatican II, into French with a beautiful set of newly composed chants.

Opportunities would exist to attend all offices for a couple of days (much recommended) and to visit the abbey, nearby Lisieux (St Theresa of Lisieux), Bernay (a well preserved early industrial town) and Rouen (St Joan and cathedral). I propose that we go in cars rather than hire a charabanc.

If anyone is interested please get in touch via email at Also, if you know of any other St. Anselm related events planned, do let us know.

(Photo by kind permission of

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