Hyning Oblates

A lay Associate is a person who feels a calling from God to lead a contemplative and spiritual life in the world, a life modelled on the wisdom of Cistercian values and practices, and who seeks a community of like-minded people...
— Cistercian family website

What is an Oblate?

Oblates, sometimes known as lay associates, are lay people who have a special link with us and wish to deepen their spiritual connection. Each associate discerns with one of the sisters the way God is calling them to live out their association and there will be regular retreat days during the year. We welcome oblates from all the different Christian traditions.  At Hyning our group includes an Anglican vicar, a Methodist lay worker and married and single Catholics.  

If you are interested in becoming an oblate or finding more about why people feel called to be an Oblate or lay associate, especially a Bernardine oblate, read more about why people have joined the wider Cistercian family below.  If you are interested in more details, contact Sr. Josephine Mary at Hyning for further information.  The last oblate day at Hyning was in March 10th 2016, the next one will be November 10th.

A Vocation

Click below to see a video from one of our oblates, Maureen Ryan Craig, an oblate in formation, describing how she sees her vocation as a Bernardine Cistercian oblate. Maureen made her first commitment in March 2015. 

Our daily commitment to love God and others is like a refreshing drop of water which nourishes our relationship with the crucified Christ whom we encounter in the midst of this suffering world.
— one of the oblates

Oblate Days 2016

We hold 2 days a year for our oblates.  The most recent one was in November 2016.  Sr Mary Stella gave a talk on an Icon of Our Lady and the Papal Document on the family.  In the afternoon, Sr. Josephine Mary gave a talk on her recent visit to one of our foundation in Asia.  On the day several oblates renewed their vows, Lois, Mary and Nicola.  Pat Kerr made her life comitment.  Here are some pictures of the day taken by Mary Tierney, one of our oblates.


The theme of the day in March was "Mercy". Sr. Mary Stella gave a presentation on the Icon of Mercy she had written.  In the afternoon Sr. Maria gave a talk on Mercy from the writings of Pope Francis.  During the day, 5 oblates made their first commitment for one year, Frances renewed for three years, and Mary Tierney and Maureen Ryan - Craig renewed for a further year.  There are now nearly 30 oblates in various forms of formation.  More welcome!

Why I chose the 'Oblate journey'

My journey into the faith began when I was received into the Roman Catholic Church. It continues now as I begin to discover the Benedictine way with others who are exploring the oblate life with me. Although there are times when it is difficult, it is a life enhancing experience. And knowing that we have the prayers and love of the Sisters at Hyning is immensely encouraging. To those who might be wondering whether to join us I would simply say: ‘Come and see.’
— Frances Dawbarn
All my adult life I have happily concentrated on being a good and diligent Martha as a wife, mother and teacher. Now that I am older I recognise that I need a better balance in my spiritual life. I want to be a Martha and a Mary, spending more time sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to Him. I believe that being an Oblate will provide the support, structure and discipline I need to acheive this goal.
— Maureen Calnan
I became an Oblate (here at Hyning Monastery) in December 2009. As a retired Anglican priest I feel that I am at the beginning of a new and exciting journey in my Christian discipleship in Benedictine monasticism. ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, circumcised nor uncircumcised’, (Presbyterian, United Reformed, Episcopalian, Roman Catholic, Methodist, nor Anglican.) All are truly one in Christ Jesus.
— Rev. Terry Middleditch

For some useful links that might be of interest in regard to becoming an Oblate/Lay Associate, please see our links page.