A new contemplative centre and meditation retreat to help to make the world more peaceful. In the past 20 years, the World Community for Christian Meditation and Meditatio, its secular outreach, have shown that meditation builds community. Bonnevaux, its new home, is an inspirational opportunity to take this work to the next stage.


Contemplative centres through history have always served as places of peace and reconciliation. A thousand years ago a Benedictine monastery was built in Bonnevaux, near Poitiers in France. On these ancient foundations we are going to develop a contemplative centre for the 21st century.
Bonnevaux will contribute to the peace-building and mutual understanding so much needed in our world now. As a meditation centre with its roots deep in the Christian tradition and yet open to all in an inclusive spirit, it will show the potential of meditation for people of all ages, beliefs and backgrounds to unify minds and heal divided hearts. With its focus on a simple and universal teaching Bonnevaux will deepen the contemplative dimension of Christian life and also bring the fruits of meditation to people of other religious or secular beliefs. A wide range of retreats and events will be shaped to address the needs of participants from diverse cultures.

Bonnevaux is a beautiful site which still retains parts of the original monastery built there in 1119. It is an ideal space, with a spirit of deep peace and beauty, for a contemplative retreat centre attuned to the needs of our time.

A main renovation and building project  can give birth to this vision…With your support .

mary_mcaleeseMARY MCALEESE (President of Ireland from 1997 to 2011)
It is past time for the World Community to have a permanent home, a centre of deep peace and an invitation to reconciliation in our troubled and troubling age but also our age of educated young problem solvers and consciences formed by equality, democracy, compassion and courage. They can be righteously impatient with denominations and faith systems but I hope not with prayer. Meditation has so much to offer in anchoring their talents and their impatience for progress and for truth in that ancient form of spiritual communication, giving them personal depths and strengths to weather life’s many storms and appreciate its wonders, linking them to a universal community of care through contemplation. I do not yet know Bonnevaux but Laurence has invited me and as soon as it is ready I plan to visit but I am persuaded that it has many attractive qualities, not least the ancient contemplative origins which infuse its natural beauty with a spirituality which I am sure will touch many an anxious heart and clear many a confused mind. It is a venture worth encouraging and supporting, another light in the darkness, another hearth that welcomes all, another home for the soul. We cannot have too many of them and we have not yet enough. Read Mary’s full endorsement here.

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