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    Waverley Abbey: A new abbey for a new generation

    3 Min Read

    9 November 2022

    24-7 Prayer is coming together with CWR to form Waverley Abbey Trust, reviving the heart of England’s oldest monastic site

    At The Gathering ’22, Pete Greig announced that Waverley Abbey – a site of prayer and monasticism for more than a thousand years – is to be transformed into a hub of Christian encounter, education, enterprise and community engagement.

    This is a joint venture between CWR, a charity providing Christian higher education, learning and resources, and 24-7 Prayer.

    Encounter, enterprise, education, engagement

    Through the partnership, the Abbey will be refreshed as a vibrant home of encounter, prayer and worship. Plans will also see a Christian university develop out of the success of the existing Waverley Abbey college, a hub of enterprise for ethical businesses that will fund and further the vision of the Abbey, and a centre of mission engagement that makes a positive impact on the local community and wider society.

    An image of Waverley Abbey, with marquees and string lights on the lawn outside

    Pete shared that, “The first time I visited the German village of Herrnhut in 1999 I witnessed first-hand how places like these can change the world. That was the beginning of the 24-7 Prayer movement. And now, almost a quarter of a century later, at a time of such profound societal chaos, I can’t think of any task more urgent or exciting than establishing a new spiritual centre for the nation.”

    Continuing a rich history

    The land, which is now the Waverley Abbey Estate, was first given over to be a monastery in 688AD by a local king named King Caedwalla. This began its history of dedication to prayer and monasticism. In 1128, 12 monks came from France to build Britain’s first Cistercian monastery there.

    The property was purchased by CWR in 1983, and founder Selwyn Hughes invested in the Estate as a place of prayer, retreat, and learning. The compatible visions of 24-7 Prayer and CWR, combined, seek to honour the land’s original intended purpose.

    Abbey ruins in a sunny field

    Mark Markiewicz, Chief Executive of CWR and Waverley Abbey College says, “The spiritual and strategic input as well as funding from 24-7 Prayer will allow us to continue to do what God has called us to do.

    “Our shared vision and collaboration will expand and build on the great work already happening at Waverley Abbey and together we will begin developing exciting initiatives to see God’s Kingdom flourish here. This is nothing short of a miraculous work of the Lord.”

    For more information on the heart of this initiative, head to our Waverley Abbey page.

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