Community Life – Bywyd Cymunedol

…this life, nourished by the Eucharist, becomes an ever-deepening communion with Him…


from the Rule of the Society of the Sacred Cross

Our Charism Today

The Society has always been a small and intimate community, seeking to enter deeply into the hidden life of prayer to which all Christians are called. We take as particular models for this life the group of women and disciples who gathered at the foot of the Cross, and seek to share in their adoration, creating a space for others to join us.

We are committed to the hospitality of the Cross – Christ’s arms wide open to all. With the Church in Wales we keep an open altar, and welcome daily guests, retreatants, small groups and a thriving wider family of Oblates, Associates and Companions.

Studying has always been part of the monastic commitment. The community has run annual study days for many years and has recently developed these into a series of Quiet days run each year with a broad range of guest speakers. We also maintain spaces where groups can come to pray, study and relax whilst sharing in the peace of our beautiful site.

Another outworking of our charism is our commitment to sustainability and good ethical practices in our management of our home. We are committed to fair pay for staff, buying ethically and organically where possible, and the Church in Wales ethical investment principles. Our partnership with the Gwent Wildlife Trust has made it possible to develop our land as a haven for wildlife, with a rich variety of habitats including extensive wildflower meadows. We manage our kitchen garden and orchards according to the principles of permaculture. We are committed to making our buildings environmentally sustainable, an extensive project which includes moving to solar energy. We understand sustainability to be a practical expression of love for our neighbours and for God’s creation, and our response to the crucified Christ present in the suffering of the world today.

In describing our charism today, it is easy to idealise the Community. However, our reality includes the real vulnerability of being a small community in a small Church, with the very real challenges of finance, the climate crisis, and our own limitations. Our vocation as religious sisters is to enter into this poverty, willing to receive whatever God sends, in absence or abundance. This opens us to the real presence of joy, often in the most surprising of times and places. Our dedication to the Cross is a turning to the promise of resurrection – and as such, our life contains a great deal of laughter.

A life of prayer, silence, space and time

An episode of ‘All Things Considered’ on BBC Radio Wales about the life of the Community, recorded in August 2021 (more information).

Daily Life

The Offices

All of our services are open to all.

6.30 – 7.00Silent Prayer
7.00Morning Prayer
16.00 – 17.00 (Fridays)Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
17.15Evening Prayer
19.45 – 20.15Silent Prayer

The community engages with our daily work, which includes the cooking, administration, cleaning and planning needed to run our life and guest ministry; and working in our grounds and gardens. The Greater Silence is kept between Compline and Morning Prayer. Fridays are silent as a memorial of the Crucifixion, as are Wednesdays during Lent and Advent.