Association of British Contemplatives Directory

Bernadine Cistercians of Esquermes


Bernardine Cistercians, known officially as Bernardines of Esquermes, form an Order of their own within the larger Cistercian family, following the Rule of St Benedict in a life of prayer centred around the Eucharist , Scriptures and Divine Office sung in English.

After the suppression of monastic life during the French Revolution, three Cistercian nuns who had survived the ordeal met and eventually reached a small village outside Lille (Esquermes) and there re-opened a Cistercian Monastery which received official recognition in 1827.


From the beginning, in response to the needs of the time, we were involved in the work of education. Since Vatican II, the work of hospitality has also developed considerably. (Education and hospitality have always been traditional in monastic life.)

But whatever form our work takes, according to the needs of the Church, teaching, catechesis, introduction to prayer, listening, serving, sharing, it is fidelity to our basic contemplative orientation which brings unity into our lives. To seek God in order to become one with him in love gives monastic life its meaning - for us who are called to live it and for all God's people. There are Bernardines in England , France , Belgium , Japan , Democratic Republic of Congo.

Formation programme

A novice is formed to seek God in monastic life and prayer, to take her part in building a warm caring community, developing her gifts in the service of the Church in today's world.

Further Information

The Vocations Promoter,
Monastery of Our Lady of Hyning



St Bernard's Convent
1 Langley Road

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