The Monastery

Last night we watched the first of The Monastery, a new series on BBC2 where five men spend forty days at Worth Abbey, a community of Benedictine Monks.

The group is a pretty mixed bunch ranging from a mature student who whilst attending church, has a lot of big, deep theological issues to deal with, through to a worker in the sex industry with no religious background, or belief in God.

Perhaps the most interesting of the men is a former member of the UDA, a Protestant terrorist organisation in Northern Ireland. Having spent much of his early life in prison, he has a lot of issues to resolve. He also said what I found to be one of the most touching statements about his experience in the first few days. He described being in the Monastery as being his idea of heaven, because the twenty or so monks knew what he had been in the past, but didn’t judge him, just accepting and loving him anyway, just as he was.

It certainly was an interesting programme, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.

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