Voice of the Abbey – Abbey Life & Witness
From the Dean of Westminster
Throughout the world people feel that ‘The Abbey’, as Westminster Abbey is affectionately known, is theirs. It is indeed many different things: burial place of kings and queen, the setting for coronations and other royal events, a sculpture gallery of world importance, a quirky place, with oddities such as Thomas Parr who lived 152 years, the home of the Order of the Bath, and a symbol of the Christian faith at the heart of the nation’s government.
But it was founded as a Christian monastery and remains to this day first a place of worship. Worship and praise is daily offered to God and the world is held up to him in prayer. It is Christian church, one of the great shrines of the world. But because we are confidently Christian we serve and welcome people of all faiths or none. For pilgrims, whatever their faith, are those who are seeking, not those who have found.
Whatever your belief, you will be welcome at the Abbey, whether through this site or when you visit. Every hour we pause in the hurly-burly of tourists and pilgrims, tours and repair works, cleaning and maintenance, for one minute’s quiet and prayer. In that moment we put the pressures and duties of the day in God’s hands, not to abdicate but to be able to take them up anew as his service. You will, I hope, join in such prayer when you visit. And if you are just browsing the site, perhaps you would also like to pause and reflect for a moment. You will also find some teaching through a sermon on this site. It may help you think about the faith and life.
In the old days, the monks who lived here had a motto: Laborare est orare: ‘working is praying’. That is the spirit by which the Abbey lives and the context in which we work.
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