Our chapels are currently closed to the public, we are looking into ways to re-open that are safe both for our visitors and for our communities.
Here at Turvey Abbey we have two chapels, our main chapel where our all our services are held, and a smaller chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved. The Blessed Sacrament chapel is located a short distance from the main chapel.
The Parish Church of Our Lady Help of Christians and Saint Lawrence, Olney, is open for Mass and private prayer. Please see the church website for days and times:–
We are continuing to celebrate the Divine Office.
Our Main Chapel
All our services are held in the main chapel, which was opened in 1991—prior to that we used what is now the library in the Abbey as our chapel.
The two communities sit at the front of the chapel in traditional choir arrangement, visitors sit in the rows towards the back of the chapel. Booklets are available on the table at the door of the chapel so that visitors can join in the services–it is recommended that visitors listen before joining in so as to sing in time with the communities!
The wall hanging at the front of the chapel is changed according to the liturgical season. In Lent we have a plain wooden cross.
The wall hangings and Lent cross were designed and made by members of the community.
We keep the Paschal Candle in the chapel all year, except in Holy Week, we light it for Sundays, solemnities and any special occasions. The piece of candle left over at the end of the year is used by the statue of Our Lady in the statio corridor for the antiphon of Our Lady at the end of Compline. (The ‘statio corridor’ is where the communities assemble, it is not open to the public.)
The chapel is held up by twelve ‘portal frames’, and affixed to these are the twelve consecration crosses. Our chapel was dedicated on 5 November 1991, and for the anniversary of the dedication we burn a candle before each of the crosses. The candle brackets can be adapted and we use them with two candles for Christmas and the Easter Octave.
Timbers from Ravenswood House, the building visible through the chapel windows on the right, were used for the legs of the altar, for the Paschal Candle stand, and the stands for the holy water stoups in the corridors.
The consecration crosses are made from wood from Brand House.
The statue of Our Lady in the statio corridor was carved from a railway sleeper by Sr Oda at Schotenhof, Antwerp.
The Blessed Sacrament Chapel
The Blessed Sacrament chapel is open for private prayer. The room in its current form dates from the mid nineteenth century when Charles Longuet Higgins made extensive alterations to the Abbey.
In the early days at Turvey, our Sunday Mass congregation fitted into this chapel!
The wood that makes up the tabernacle stand came from the Abbey during the building work carried out before we moved in in 1981. The long timbers at the back were ceiling joists.