New Prior Announced at Downside

The Monastic Community at Downside has petitioned the Holy See for the the continuation of the current administrative arrangements at Downside Abbey for a further two years which means that a Prior Administrator leads the Community as opposed to an Abbot.

The Community is relatively low in numbers and the English Benedictine Congregation now wishes to strengthen Downside so that it can transition to new structures for the monastery, its heritage and the school.  These new structures will enable each element of Downside to develop the leadership and resources needed for each to flourish as we move towards the setting up of the new School Trust, which has now been agreed in principle.

The present administration under Dom Leo Maidlow Davis will continue until September 2018 when Father Nicholas Wetz, Prior at Belmont Abbey, will move to Downside and take up the post of Prior Administrator. Father Leo will remain at Downside and continue to have a role. Dom Oliver Holt from Douai Abbey will become resident at Downside  and Dom Mark Barrett from Worth Abbey will be a regular visitor; both are already Trustees and members of the Prior’s Council. Together they will help to reinvigorate our Community and strengthen Downside.

In a joint statement from the Chair of Governors, Adrian Aylward and the Head Master, Andrew Hobbs they said “We are delighted to see the reinforcement of the Monastic Community, which is so fundamental to the School’s character and ethos. It is important to us to maintain and build on our strong and collaborative relationship with the Monastic Community particularly at this time, as we move towards the setting up of the new School Trust.”