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Beauchief Abbey

Beauchief Abbey (14)

lent 2018 and other lectures

Lent Lectures 2018

The Forgiveness of Sins

Wednesday 21 February

Lecture 1  What it’s all about: Defining Sin and Forgiveness

Wednesday 28 February

Lecture 2  Sin and forgiveness in the Old Testament

Wednesday 7 March

Lecture 3 Sin and forgiveness in the teaching of Jesus

Wednesday 14 March

Lecture 4  Sin and forgiveness in Paul

Wednesday 21 March

Lecture 5..Sin and forgiveness: adjusting our theology and reinterpreting our liturgy

Lectures will be given in Beauchief Abbey at 7 p.m. by Revd Professor J. W. Rogerson




The 2013 Beauchief Abbey Lectures are now available for viewing as films on the internet:

On being a Broad Church by:Revd. Professor J. W. Rogerson

Lecture 1:Video: Beauchief Abbey Lectures 2013 (no. 1) Broad Church: C19th Background

Revd. Professor John Rogerson introduces the foundation of the 19th century Broad Church movement and its implications for faith in Britain today, calling for a church that engages with the whole of society and which is not broader, but deeper.

Lecture 2:Video: Beauchief Abbey Lectures 2013 (no. 2) Broad Church: Scripture

In 1862 the active and dedicated missionary Bishop John Colenso questioned publicly the historical integrity of some of the Old Testament narratives, and the controversy that followed marks a turning point in the history of modern biblical criticism in Britain. This lecture explores the positive and affirming contribution made by biblical critical scholarship to the revealing of a God of justice and love in the Old Testament and the Gospel accounts of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

Lecture 3:Video: Beauchief Abbey Lectures 2013 (no. 3) Broad Church: Reason

Revd. Professor Rogerson explores the often-made mistake of supposing that God is an object within our world of time and space whose existence there could be proved by logical or rational argument. The lecture goes on to outline the distinction made by the renowned poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge between Reason and Understanding. Coleridge’s contribution to Anglican thinking helps us to have a practical beliefinthe God of the Bible, rather than beliefs or assertionsaboutGod.

Lecture 4:Video: Beauchief Abbey Lectures 2013 (no. 4) Broad Church: Tradition

Lecture 5:Video: Beauchief Abbey Lectures 2013 (no. 5) Broad Church Today

If you are interested in the work of the Abbey in promoting the Broad Church Today then pleaseget in touch with us



Weekly Services

Weekly services of public worship are held at the Abbey, continuing a tradition of Christian witness and prayer on this site that dates back to the 12th century.

You are very welcome to join us.


The services at the Abbey follow The Book of Common Prayer. This was published in 1662, around the time that the present Abbey church was restored with the box pews, chapel and tower that you see today. The Book of Common Prayer is the traditional prayer and service book of the Church of England.

What is a Service like at the Abbey?

Here you can find out what a typical Sunday service is like at Beauchief Abbey. Click here to download.

Service Pattern

Throughout the year the Abbey’s weekly services follow this pattern:

First Sunday of each month: Holy Communion 11.00am
Second Sunday of each month: Holy Communion 11.00am
Third Sunday of each month: Evensong 3.00pm
Fourth Sunday of each month: Holy Communion 11.00am
When a fifth Sunday occurs in a month: Mattins 11.00am

Services are also held on:

Christmas Eve 7.00pm
Christmas Day 10.30am
Ash Wednesday 7.00pm
Maundy Thursday 7.00pm
Good Friday 2.00pm
Ascension Day 7.00pm

In recent years, we have held ten days of informal prayer between Ascension Day and Pentecost Sunday.

The Abbey joins with other local churches in providing monthly worship and church community at the nearby residential care home Henleigh Hall.


The Abbey has no appointed clergy and relies entirely on volunteer clergy and Readers to lead our services. We are lucky to have such an enthusiastic and generous pool of volunteers, who share their wide range of experience, gifts and ministry with the Abbey community.


Music is a much loved part of the Abbey life. We have a small electronic organ and singing hymns connects us to a long tradition of Christian worship.

Our informal choir sits in the pews nearest the organ and consists of anyone who enjoys singing. All are welcome to sit in this area and sing out! We aim to sing using harmonies where possible. Come and join us to sing.



The Abbey holds funeral services. These are arranged in conjunction with funeral directors and our volunteer clergy.

Although the Abbey traditionally uses the Book of Common Prayer for its services, decisions about the form of service for funerals is taken by clergy in consultation with families, as appropriate to the circumstances.

In past years the Funeral Directors Lunts held a memorial service in December at the Abbey for families who had been bereaved in the previous year.

If you would like more information about funeral services at the Abbey please contact us.



Offering baptism is an important part of our Christian witness. We're delighted to receive plenty of enquiries about Christenings at the Abbey, and we hold baptism services regularly. These Christenings are often held on Sunday lunchtimes at 12.30pm after the main weekly service, but not always. Baptisms can also take place within the weekly Sunday service and at other times.

Being baptized at a Christening marks the start of a lifelong journey of faith as part of the local and worldwide Christian family.

If you'd like to know more about baptism at the Abbey please get in touch with Mrs. Pam Hodgson on 0114 235 3263 or send us an email.



Beauchief Abbey offers weddings for couples who wish to marry. Because the Abbey is a Liberty the usual parish arrangements do not apply. A special license from the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury is sought for weddings at the Abbey where the couple are members of the Abbey congregation.

For couples who are not members of the Abbey congregation it may be possible to arrange a church wedding service that takes place after a marriage by civil ceremony.

What is special about a church wedding?

Marriage at the Abbey is a ceremony in which wedding vows are made in a place that has been witness to Christian tradition for over 800 years. We invite all our visitors to reflect on their lives in the sight of a loving God revealed in Jesus Christ. Many people have found the Abbey an inspirational place to begin the new relationship of marriage.

If you'd like more information about weddings at the Abbey please contact us



English Heritage

English Heritage is a public body with responsibility for all aspects of protecting and promoting the historic environment in England. Officially known as the Historic Buildings and Monuments Commission for England, English Heritage is an Executive Non-departmental Public Body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). - Visit

Heritage Inspired

Churches, chapels, mosques, gurudwaras, synagogues and other faith sites are literally 'treasure houses' of history. Very few ancient sites are built in the style of one architectural period, and their history can be traced through the jigsaw of architectural styles. - Visit

Museums Sheffield

Trying something new can be a little bit scary, but what a great feeling when you make the connection. We’re trying new things all the time and we want you to try them too, so come with us and we’ll help connect you with art, nature, history, ideas - and each other. You can connect with us in lots of ways. Through our four museums, through our events and exhibitions, when we’re out and about and right here on our website. Jump in. Discover something new. - Visit

Picture Sheffield is the Internet version of Sheffield Local Studies Library's computerised image system. You can view over 35,000 pictures from our collections. We update the system regularly, so please check for new images. This website is only a representative selection from our collections, and most images are pre-1950. - Visit

Prayer Book Society

The Prayer Book Society exists to promote and preserve the use of the Book of Common Prayer (1662). The 1662 Prayer Book is the traditional service book of the Church of England, and it contains the Church's historic beliefs. - Visit

Sheffield City Council

After a period of public consultation Sheffield City Council adopted this Beauchief Abbey Conservation Area Appraisal and the accompanying Management Proposals for Beauchief Abbey on 19th March 2007, which means that they are now a material consideration in the determination of relevant planning applications in the area. - Visit

The Church of England

The Church of England has a Christian presence in every community and plays a vital role in the life of the nation, proclaiming the Christian Gospel in words and actions. - Visit

The Diocese of Sheffield

The Diocese of Sheffield was formed at Pentecost in 1914, by the division from the Diocese of York. It covers most of the County of South Yorkshire, with a small part of East Yorkshire, one parish in North Yorkshire and one in North Lincolnshire – an area of almost 576 square miles. - Visit



Faith - unexpected discovery of the things of GOD

Christians believe in a God who speaks – a God who spoke through the prophets and priests of ancient Israel, who spoke supremely in the words and actions of Jesus of Nazareth, who has spoken to the Christian Church through the words and deeds of martyrs, saints and others, and who still speaks, especially when the Bible is studied and preached and the sacraments are administered.

The God of Christian belief is not a theory but the living God, who calls us to his service. 

This is an awesome thought – That ehe suffering and anguish that human behaviour must cause to God is glimpsed in the crucifixion of Jesus.  The costly offer of God's free forgiveness that is made possible by the cross and endorsed by Christ's resurrection is the basis of the hope that Christians have, that the world and humanity can be created the Creator of a universe so inconceivably enormous in time and space should seek the love and loyalty of members of a human race that is so destructive of the planet earth and its fellow human beings.

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The possibilities of a new creation are glimpsed in the words and actions of Jesus that bring close to human beings what is called the Kingdom of God – a sphere of right relationships that embraces all aspects of human life

whether they are social, economic, industrial, artistic, intellectual or aesthetic. To be a Christian involves accepting the call to embrace and be inspired by the vision of the Kingdom of God.


Worship at the Abbey seeks to do justice to two central things – the majesty and mercy of God. The forms of service are traditional and use words that have been hallowed in the Church of England for over 450 years, to convey something of the awesome majesty of God.  The preaching and the administration of the sacraments attempt to proclaim and make real that mercy of God on which no one can presume, but which affirms and changes those who are embraced by it. Members of the congregation seek to serve the Kingdom of God in various ways – in their daily lives and in the things that they do together at the Abbey in worship, learning and outreach.  The Abbey is a learning church, whose members seek to know more fully what is God's will for them, in the service of the Kingdom.

Find out more - visit us at the Abbey

or browse through the books of Beauchief Abbey Press

Education, learning and sharing

The Abbey organises occasional lectures, events, courses and regular fellowship meetings , discussion and learning

We are a broad church, and very welcoming to anyone interested in the life of the Abbey today.

People drawn to the abbey are on a journey of faith... and there is no set starting place.  We welcome, without pressure, people from all sorts of backgrounds who are curious to find out a little bit more about the life of the Abbey.

If you'd like to discover a little more, ask some questions, or just quietly sit through a service, you are very welcome.

We look forward to seeing you.


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The abbey today

People have been organising the church, worshipping and teaching at Beauchief Abbey since 1176.
Today our church is part of the Anglican Communion (Church of England), but we are a little unusual in that:

  • People have been organising the church, worshipping and teaching at Beauchief Abbey since 1176.
  • Today our church is part of the Anglican Communion (Church of England), but we are a little unusual in that:
  • The running of our church is organized entirely by the congregation
  • We have no appointed priests, ministers or clergy
  • Services are led by volunteer Anglican clergy
  • The Abbey building is not owned by the Church of England, but was given to the people of Sheffield in 1932 so that  services could continue to be held at the Abbey.
  • Beauchief Abbey is a Liberty within the Diocese of Sheffield

As well as holding weekly services the Abbey church organises occasional lectures and concerts in the Abbey and hosts heritage open weekends when the Abbey  building is open for visitors.

The Broad Church

There are many differing approaches to worship and church life across the Anglican Communion.  The Abbey seeks to explore further the role of the Broad Church movement in a spirit of love, tolerance, patience, partnership, exploration, encouragement and hope in the light of traditional Christian faith and witness.

The principles of belonging and getting involved

The Abbey and its surrounding area is a Liberty in  the Church of England,.  This means that the community of Beauchief Abbey are afforded unusual freedoms in associating and organising the Abbey life, and this in turn brings fresh, unusual and interesting responsibilities and opportunities.

The church is organised on the principles of common participation and simple democracy, which finds expression and structure in The Constitution of Beauchief Abbey and in our committee of members.

Although our committee members are active we seek to invite and involve all our congregation in the running and activities of the church life and outreach. We welcome involvement in every sphere of  the Abbey life.

The Abbey church receives no grants or external funding.  All the Abbey's income comes from the giving of members and congregations at services and by regular Gift Aid ( a tax efficient scheme of giving), from gifts from donors, fees from weddings and funerals and from fundraising efforts.   The Abbey uses the monies it receives to run the church and fabric of the building, to promote the Abbey and in supporting agreed charitable enterprises locally, nationally and around the world.

The Abbey gardens

The Beauchief Environment Group play a large role in the maintenance of the walls, paths and trees of the Abbey gardens and we  employ a gardener to maintain the lawns, shrubs and trees.

The residents of the adjacent cottages also take part in the upkeep of the grounds.

The Abbey gardens are enjoyed by many, many visitors to the area.  At the front of the Abbey is a large lawn (meadow) . There are a few gravestones to the East of the church and to the  South lies the remains of the cloisters and medieval Abbey buildings.

Visiting the Abbey

Visitors often remark on the warm welcome they receive at the Abbey. Whenever the Abbey is open visitors seem to walk up the path and come to the door.

We encourage people to visit the Abbey after our weekly Sunday Service when members of the congregation are available to welcome and show visitors the around.  There is also a heritage weekend in September when the Abbey is open to the public.

If you would like to arrange a visit for a group, please get in touch.


History of the abbey

Beauchief Abbey was founded as a daughter establishment of Welbeck Abbey, thanks to a gift of land by Robert FitzRanulph, Lord of Alfreton, in about 1176. The official founding date was not until 21 December 1183. It was dedicated to “God and St Mary and St Thomas the Martyr and to the brothers of the Premonstratensian order”. Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in 1170 and was made a saint in 1173, but there is no evidence that FitzRanulph had any direct connection to these events.

The altar piece which once stood in Beauchief Abbey depicting the murder of St Thomas a Becket

The Premonstratensian order was founded in 1120 at Prémontré in France. Its members were canons (popularly known as White Canons) rather than monks. Usually, between 12 and 15 of them lived at the Abbey, but as ordained priests they also worked in local communities, some taking charge of nearby churches. FitzRanulph granted the churches of Norton, Alfreton, Wymeswold, and Adwalton to the Abbey, and a further grant of Dronfield church was made in 1399. In addition, the Abbey owned a number of outlying farms or “granges” as well as four or five mills and a smithy on the Sheaf.

Records of the lands held by the Abbey were copied by the canons into a book known as the "Cartulary". This book, in its original binding, is held in the Archives of Sheffield City Council. It has recently been transliterated and edited by David Hey, Lisa Liddy, and David Luscombe, under the title “A monastic community in local society: the Beauchief Abbey cartulary” (Cambridge University Press, 2011: The Beauchief Abbey Cartulary) so it is accessible to all.

Henry VIII’sDissolution of the Monasteries saw an end to medieval church life at the Abbey, and on 4 February 1537 it was surrendered to Thomas Cromwell’s commissioners, “without giving any trouble or opposition.

Carved head of a monk from Beauchief Abbey

Sir Nicholas Strelley, then Lord of Ecclesall, bought the Abbey and all the land in the Liberty of Beauchief for £223. In 1648 the land came by marriage into the possession of the Pegge family. Following the Dissolution, the church fell into disrepair, but it seems (on the basis of excavations conducted in the 1920’s) that some of the other buildings, including the chapter house and the refectory, continued to be used, the first as a lumber store and wine cellar the second as a residence. At least from 1667 onwards, however, much of the stone was used for the building of Beauchief Hall, which became the residence of Edward Pegge in 1671. At about this time or later, the nave of the church and the tower were at least partially restored to make a chapel for the landowners, as can be seen today in the surviving box pews, coats of arms, and carved stone memorials. Nathaniel Baxter was appointed the first chaplain in 1662, and the gravestones on the floor of the chapel include two by the altar which are dated 1659 and 1660. This suggests that the chapel had started functioning by that time, although Tony Smith argues that it did not assume its present form until the middle of the 18th century. Nikolaus Pevsner (“Yorkshire: the West Riding”, 1967) memorably called the whole ensemble an “incongruous but very attractive combination” of different elements.

Old Picture of the Abbey

The Pegge family continued to own Beauchief Hall and the Abbey until 1922, when they were sold respectively to Major Wilson and to Mr. Frank Crawshaw. In 1931 he sold the land occupied today by Beauchief Golf Course to the Sheffield Corporation. At the same time Mr. Crawshaw offered the Abbey, adjacent cottages, graveyard and Abbey grounds as a gift to the Corporation, for the Citizens of Sheffield, on certain conditions which, after modification, were accepted. The Abbey was declared to be a scheduled monument in 1957 but it remains in the ownership of the Council.

The Beauchief Abbey Cartulary

Full details concerning the history of “Beauchief Abbey and Beauchief Hall” are contained in a CD made by Tony Smith in 2004, which is available for purchase.

Church services continue at the Abbey to this day. The Abbey receives visits from groups and individuals on a regular basis. If you'd like to arrange a group visit to learn more about the Abbey's heritage and the life of the church please get into contact with us today.

Images courtesy of Pictures Sheffield

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