Bonnevaux is the international meditation and retreat centre of The World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM).
What is Bonnevaux?
Bonnevaux is the international meditation and retreat centre of The World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM). A residential community lives in the spirit of the Rule of St Benedict together with volunteers from many parts of the world. Bonnevaux serves global peace and unity among all traditions through dialogue, silence and friendship.
Bonnevaux is the spiritual home for the WCCM. The Community is now present in more than 100 countries with 67 National Coordinators. Each National Community serves the WCCM mission of sharing the gift of meditation with all “in the spirit of serving the unity of all”. Bonnevaux also serves as a place for training teachers and the next generation of WCCM; we are particularly concerned for young people facing the challenges of modern life (photo: younger meditators during the John Main Seminar 2022 at Bonnevaux).
Our hope is that everyone who visits Bonnevaux will be touched by the spirit of peace and a deeper experience of silence. With this seed of transformation planted, visitors will then be better able to develop the contemplative dimension in their own lives and in the lives of the people with whom they live and work.
Teaching meditation from within the Christian tradition and universal wisdom, as a way of personal and social transformation.
Since John Main began the first Christian Meditation Centre at his monastery in 1975 the seed of his vision has grown to become a “global monastery without walls”. The idea of having a physical home for this community has grown through many years of discernment.
The mission of the Community has aspects of inreach and outreach. By inreach we mean the awakening of the contemplative dimension of Christian faith and life, especially through the teaching of meditation in churches, dioceses, schools, and universities. By outreach we mean sharing of the fruits of meditation in a secular context in order to develop new forms of leadership and new ideas for organizational and professional life.
Like the WCCM, Bonnevaux is an ecumenical community committed to friendship and collaboration among all faiths and secular society.
The World Community for Christian Meditation is a global and inclusive contemplative family. Its roots lie in the desert tradition of early Christianity (4th century). In 1975, John Main (1926-1982) started the first Christian Meditation Centre in London. When he died his student Laurence Freeman took the lead in the global expansion of the Community. The World Community is now present in more than 100 countries with 3000 weekly meditation groups, multiple centres, and a publishing company.
On the 25th anniversary of its formation, the National Coordinators of WCCM called for an international centre and home to serve the community and to support its future development. In close collaboration with the WCCM in France we were led to Bonnevaux. It was significant to us that a pioneering contemplative community in the Benedictine tradition was founded there in 1119. In 2019 Bonnevaux renewed this life in a new way.
Bonnevaux means ‘beautiful valley’. The peaceful energy that is felt here today is the fruit of this tradition for which we are exploring new forms. Thanks to the generosity of WCCM members and National Communities as well as various foundations and trusts, we were able to purchase the property in 2017. The renovation began in 2018 and is ongoing.
Meet the Community
Bonnevaux is the international meditation and retreat centre of The World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM). A residential community lives in the spirit of the Rule of St Benedict together with volunteers from many parts of the world. Bonnevaux encourages global peace and unity among all traditions through dialogue, silence and friendship.Meet the Community