Existing Building Fabric

The main house was planned in an H-shape with a central core, dating from the late 18th century, flanked at the ends by two protruding wings. These two wings are older than the central building as is evidenced by their vaulted rooms and their Medieval fireplaces.

Documents and archives show that an Abbey, affiliated to the Order of Cîteaux, was built here in 1201. No longer in existence, all that remains are a small room and the superb gallery of its former cloister, listed as a French Historic Monument.

This large, 2-storey residence has a sober, balanced architecture, its facades featuring regularly spaced openings. The building has numerous doors leading outside, a large stairway and three back stairways that go up to the first floor.

The fabric of the building is in a good state of repair and it’s roof was recently fully restored.

The Masterplan will be designed to position new buildings around a village green, intended to engender a sense of community amongst guests.

The village green will form the fulcrum or the beating heart of the community. It will have the community’s key building: the Conference Centre located on its northern side and will be left open on its southern side to allow light in and generate inspiring views onto the lake and picturesque landscapes to the south.


The plan for the development of Bonnevaux to its full potential will proceed by phases for each of which funding is needed.
Phases of Renovation and New Construction:


PHASE ONE (COST: € 2.5 MILLION) - initial renovation

  • Initial renovation work on the main house and guesthouse

PHASE TWO (COST: € 2.5 MILLION) - for continued renovation

  • Completion of main house, for community and guests
  • Completion of guesthouse
  • Renovation of the Barn as conference and meditation space

PHASE THREE (COST: € 1.5 MILLION) - for additional renovation

  • Contemplative cells
  • Gardens and woods

sarah2REV’D SARAH BACHELARD (Anglican Priest and theologian from WCCM Australia)
John Main described the practice of contemplation as a pilgrimage to the heart of our own lives and to the heart of God. This image of pilgrimage evokes one critical dimension of the spiritual journey – the necessity to be dispossessed, travelling light and open to an unknown future. At first glance, this may seem in tension with the desire to own a property and be settled in one place. Yet – as someone who has just returned from making a 900km pilgrimage on the Way of St James – I can attest that the practice of pilgrimage is radically dependent on there being places of refreshment and hospitality, communities of welcome where pilgrims are enabled to reflect on their journey and realise more fully its meaning and call. I believe that Bonnevaux will be such a place of refreshment and hospitality, one that will enable all who come to deepen their own pilgrimage to the heart of God, and so to bear the fruits of this journey in their lives and communities at home.

See what people think of the vision of Bonnevaux


If you have any questions about how to support Bonnevaux please do not hesitate to contact us.

Briji Waterfield, Director of Special Projects
WCCM International Office, St Marks, Myddelton Square, London EC1R 1XX, United Kingdom
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7278 2070