Dore Abbey was one of the great medieval monasteries of Herefordshire, and the church is probably the finest Cistercian survivals in England. Part of the monastic church continues in use as a parish church and is more than 800 years old in parts; it is also one of the major examples of Norman and Medieval monastic and church architecture in the country, uniquely adapted for Post-Reformation worship, combining 2 key elements of the Christian church in the United Kingdom - a Pre-Reformation Cistercian Abbey and Post-Reformation Laudian Anglican Church.
It is one of the oldest buildings in Herefordshire still in use for its original purpose. Its exceptional architectural, archaeological, art historical, and historic importance is recognised in its Grade I listing, its status as a Scheduled Monument, and as a key attraction of the Golden Valley area of Herefordshire.
As to the future, the PCC's Vision has 4 broad headings:
Centre of Worship and Pastoral Support to the parish
Support to the broader mission of the Diocese, Anglican and Christian community
Centre for events and excellence in music, drama and the arts within South Herefordshire
A place of historical, architectural and archaeological significance
Bishop John Oliver (Bishop of Hereford) encapsulated much of this vision in his statement that:
... the development of Dore Abbey as a centre of devotion and of the religious life in a form which is accessible to busy people at the end of the 20th Century, will give it back its raison d'être and help it to become a resource for mission in the years that lie ahead ..... [to] enable people of all Christian persuasions and of none to spend time in its incomparable surrounding ....an important new initiative involves a plan to try to re-establish some kind of regular round of prayer in the abbey church. For 400 years it was a place where monastic worship was offered, and pilgrims and those in need came from far and wide to find both the love of God and the practical care and help which the monastery could offer. It seems entirely right that we should once again think in terms of using Dore Abbey as a place for retreats and quiet days, for reflection and recollection and building people up in holiness ....these plans would involve some modest addition to the existing buildings to enable people to spend a day in the abbey meeting, praying, talking, listening and sharing in meals together. In a place where we may be 'lost' in wonder, love and praise.
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