During the penal period, when Catholicism was illegal and to be a Catholic priest was punishable by death, Benedictines entered England from abroad to minister to Catholics. Many were captured and executed for this. The ministry to Catholics is the reason most monasteries of the English Benedictine Congregation still run parishes. Some monasteries have priests based in many parishes at great distances from the monastery.
Ealing Abbey only has one parish, the local parish of Ealing. This is a large parish and, before the Covid lockdowns, average Mass attendance was over 1500 each week. Numbers are recovering since the end of the lockdowns.
Because the Abbey is in the middle of the parish, it means that the monks working in the parish are still able to live the full monastic routine, which is difficult when monks have to live away from the monastery. It also makes it easier for other monks to help out on parish activities when needed.
The parish is very active, with a large number of groups and organisations. These range from prayer groups and bible study groups to social activities such as the Society of St Vincent de Paul, whose members provide help and care for those who are in need. We also take part in the Ealing Churches Winter Night Shelter Scheme.
For details of service times, baptism, communion, confirmation, RCIA, and marrriage preparation, and other parish activities, see the Ealing Abbey Parish website.