in Lifestyle at in Alnmouth
All year round
Alnmouth, nestling on the north bank of the Aln as it meets the North Sea, was an important port in years gone by. It is now home to a Franciscan Friary, housed in one of the most beautiful settings of any in the province, open to both day visitors and those needing a spiritual recharge over a longer period.
The brothers occupy what was originally a private residence, atop the hill as you come into Alnmouth. The views from the library and main chapel look south over the coastal village, the Aln itself and down the coast to Warkworth and Amble. There is a smaller chapel, of the Blessed Sacrament, which affords views of spectacular winter sunrises over the sea to Coquet Island, which housed a monastery of Celtic origin for over a thousand years.
The Friary welcomes over a thousand visitors a year to stay and over 4000 as day visitors, while the brothers are active in the life of the village and region.
Alnmouth has other claims to religious fame that are worth exploring while you are there. The main church used to be on Church Hill, the site of which now rises over the Aln's south bank. But by 1806 the river had cut a new channel to the sea, leaving the church completely separated from the parishioners it was meant to serve. The old church was eventually dismantled and a new one built in the village itself.
Much further back, in the late 7th century, Alnmouth saw the election of Saint Cuthbert as bishop. Conscious of this strong line of Christian heritage, the Franciscan brothers welcome people to Alnmouth Friary to help their work in the community and pursuit of spirituality.
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