Burnham Abbey

The Society of the Precious Blood

an Anglican Contemplative Community



This page provides periodic updates of what is taking place at the Abbey (please click on the photographs to see larger images). 

January 2019

A fresh perspective on the garth and the still garden for those who only know them from sitting out in the summer sunshine.

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December 2018

Burnham Abbey Crib 2018 - 'Touched by Love'. At the birth of Jesus the divine touch of God reaches down from heaven to embrace humanity. 

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November 2018

"Are you sitting comfortably?" Twenty four years on from refurbishing the Chapel, the Sisters have invested in some new cushions which will enhance the comfort of those who from time to time are invited to sit with us in Choir.

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October 2017

We were in celebration mode again on the Feast of St Teresa of Avila, when we gave thanks for Sister Diana Mary's Diamond Jubilee of Profession. Sister spent almost all of her years as a Religious in Africa but chose to return home to the UK when our Priory in Lesotho closed some 41 years after she went there.

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August 2017

The month began with a Sister participating in A Day for Religious at West Malling Abbey in Kent. It was a celebration to mark the first year of the resident Anglican Benedictine nuns' second century at the Abbey. Religious from various Anglican Communities gathered to consider the values which motivate and sustain them and to explore how we can offer these resources to other traditional and new Communities. Our Sister found it an enjoyable, interesting and worthwhile day and appreciated time spent in small groups sharing thoughts on the day's theme. For example, simplicity and stability were experienced as valuable in our common life of prayer, Offices, meals and friendship as they provide an ordered framework for our lifelong journey together. One participant put it this way: "The adventure of seeking God, of following after Jesus who is always ahead and always calling us to new paths, is an important commitment in our lives of loving support of one another".

At the very end of the month, with the death of our Sister Dorothy Mary in her mid 80s, we saw the climax of just such a life. Coming to the UK from Australia nearly 60 years ago, before the marvels of modern communication, she found in God and in company with other Religious a way that took her home to her Lord along a route which, in her final six or seven years, led her via total dependence on carers. At the same time she spoke without words - to those who spent time with her - of the reality of Immanuel, God with us, the Dedication she had taken so many years previously when she made her Life Vows.

July 2017

Distance No Object

The month ended with an Australian guest, who has been sharing in our life for three months, making her Promise as a Companion of the Society on Sunday 30th. She heard about Burnham Abbey from an Anglican Priest Companion of SPB who emigrated to Australia some years ago. We had known him for many years and he had become a Companion prior to emigrating. More remarkably, another Anglican Priest Companion, who has also lived in Australia for a long time, happened to come over to the UK and visit the  Abbey for a few daysí retreat while our guest was here. A conversation revealed that both men knew each other during their ordination training days in the UK! All three are currently in resident in Western Australia, so we expect to hear of them holding Area Meetings before long!!

Feast of the Precious Blood

Please click here to read the sermon given by the Revd Sue Smith on the Feast of the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ on 1 July 2017 at Burnham Abbey.

Photographs of the beautiful flowers from the Feast of the Precious Blood

June 2017

Please click here for details of a Quiet Day held at Burnham Abbey on 10 June led by the Revd Hilary Campbell (Companion SPB) entitled "The Power of Trees". 

April 2017

Early morning visit to the Easter Garden after the Vigil...

December 2016

The sermon preached at the Christmas Midnight Service at the Abbey (by the Ven Jonathan Chaffey, Chaplain-in-Chief and Head of the Royal Air Force Chaplains Branch) may be read here.

Advent is drawing to a close and the Crib is ready for Christmas Eve and its climax - Midnight Mass.  The additional animals are some of the endangered species that find a place in our prayers for this troubled but essentially beautiful world.

October 2016

The group of ladies known as  The Holy Stitchers, from St. Peter's Church, Burnham, joined the Sisters one morning for the Eucharist and were delighted to see the beautiful banner made by them for the 750 / 100 Anniverary year adorning the north wall of Chapel. 


St. Luke's Day, being the Community's 111th birthday, was chosen for the last in the series of special Anniversary celebrations in 2016. A goodly number of the Community's friends and supporters who had not been at any of the earlier events were invited to attend the Eucharist and to join the Sisters for coffee afterwards. 

August 2016

From its foundation until the 1960s, Burnham Abbey was situated in the parish of St Peter, Burnham. With this in mind, members of that congregation were invited, with various local friends, to come and see areas of the Abbey and its gardens which are not generally open to visitors. Nearly 60 people, half of them from St. Peter's, enjoyed walking round in the sunshine on the afternoon of 13 August, learning something of the Abbey's long history and being refreshed with tea and biscuits. Many spoke appreciatively of this opportunity and several took advantage of the Sisters' offer to leave requests for prayer, intercession being central to the Community's vocation.

Two weeks later, it was the turn of members of the congregation of St. Andrew, Cippenham - originally a daughter church of St. Peter's - and the parish in which the Abbey is now situated, to participate in this year's celebrations. For some years, St. Andrew's has come to the Abbey on two or three Sundays each year for a joint Eucharist with the Sisters so this time it was decided to invite them to come on 28 August when the Community celebrated not only their special anniversaries but also the Solemnity of St. Augustine of Hippo, on whose fourth century monastic Rule their own is based. The service was followed by a bring-and-share lunch and proved to be a happy time of fellowship, again with a chance to enjoy the garden.

The sermon preached at the Abbey on 28 August by the Revd Janet Minkkinen, Incumbent of of St Andrew, Cippenham may be viewed here.

July 2016

On 2 July, Oblates, Companions and Friends joined the Sisters at Burnham Abbey for a day to celebrate the 750th Anniversary of the signing of the Foundation Charter of the Abbey and the 100th Anniversary of the first Eucharist being celebrated here by the SPB Sisters, following their arrival in 1916. Full details of this day and the other celebrations may be viewed on the Anniversary page.

May 2016

Companions of the Community of the Resurrection came to Burnham Abbey for a Quiet Day looking at the power and peace of the Holy Spirit, using the facilities of the Emmaus Room. The Day was lead by the Revd Sally Lynch, Vicar of St Luke, Maidenhead, who also acted as the celebrant at the morning Eucharist (The Superior of CR, Fr George Guiver, is Community Counsellor to the Society of the Precious Blood).