Little monks explore big world at ancient abbey

A group of little novice monks (and a few bigger monks) pictured at the Family Day at Whalley Abbey.
A group of little novice monks (and a few bigger monks) pictured at the Family Day at Whalley Abbey.

Historic Whalley Abbey was host to two successful family days recently.

Organised by the Children’s Team from the Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education, the theme was “God’s Wonderful World” as families from across the county were invited to experience, explore and encounter God in new, interesting and fun ways.

Inside the Abbey, which is the Diocesan Retreat and Conference Centre, families crafted a stained-glass world and all manner of animals in masks and artwork.

There was a walk around the Abbey ruins, with the children and some adults dressed as Cistercian monks, to explore the daily life of a monk. This included a touch and smell session in the herb garden and a kitchen set out with a wood burning brazier and a table of vegetables, cheese and bread enticing the senses!

On the lawns amid the Abbey ruins, the families also had a chance to play hide and seek and other games with parachutes and bubbles. The weather was fine on both days and the team of Diocesan staff and volunteers worked hard to make the days a great success.

Organiser Sue Witts from the BDBE said: “Whalley Abbey was the perfect venue for these free events: the beautiful grounds helped us to hear and experience the story of Creation, with the help of a fabulous Storyteller, followed by an outdoor treasure hunt.

“How can we help our parents to pass on the Good News of Jesus Christ? We can tell the stories of God and Jesus, and show them how they can do the same in a way that is relevant for families and the lives they live today!”