Now that summer is almost here and the weather is finally getting better it’s time to start exploring places close to home. Recently we decided to head to the city of Mission, and visit Westminster Abbey and the beautiful grounds surrounding it. This Benedictine Monastery, as well the adjoining Christ the King Seminary, were both originally formed in 1939 and moved to this location in 1954.
There are some pathways to walk along that will lead you through the grassy fields and into the trees. If you head straight down the hill from the main buildings you will come across this grotto elevated above the trail. Looking back you can see the bell tower, called The Pfitzer Memorial Tower, that was completed in 1957 and houses ten bells that were made and sent from London, England.
As you continue past the grotto, you will find yourself at a small pond that provides a lovely reflection of the trees and the bell tower.
The grounds around the monastery are very peaceful and the monks ask that silence is observed while you wander through them. After you have finished meandering through the fields and forest head to the abbey and check out the inside. You won’t be disappointed!
The abbey was completed in 1982 and the stained glass windows were designed by a German artist that was living in Canada at the time. There are 64 windows, each with an approximate size of 24 by 4 feet, making some 7000 feet of stained glass. The colouring of the glass represents the four elements…blue for water, red for fire, brown for earth, and grey for sky.
About 30 monks live at the monastery obeying their motto of Ora et Labora (“pray and work”). The seminary provides studies from high school through to university/college courses.
You can join the monks for prayers in the abbey at different times throughout the day. Times are found on the website…see link below. There is also a guestmaster available to answer any questions you may have during your visit.
Westminster Abbey is located along Hwy 7 in the Fraser Valley. It makes a great place to stop on the way to Harrison Lake. The abbey and the grounds are only open to the public at certain times…for more information check here. Keep in mind that this is a monastic community and any visit should be done with respect for the property and the people that live here.