Oblates and Friends
Oblates are men and women who have been regular Abbey guests and who feel called by God to follow the Benedictine way in their lives outside the cloister. They have a 2½ year period of training before making a promise of conversion of life. Their commitment is expressed in a personal Benedictine rule of life, which balances their personal prayer, worship and lectio divina with their responsibility to family and work.
Oblates are trained as a small group and so there could be a waiting period of several years before training can commence. During this time of waiting many take a first step by becoming a Friend of the Community.
The Friends of Malling Abbey provides a link to the Community for those who desire to be related to the Abbey in a personal way through prayer. There is no formal rule of life for Friends, beyond daily prayer. Friends are asked to remember the Community each day and to try to live a good Christian life, relying on God's grace regularly received through word and sacrament. The Community on its part also remembers each of the Friends by name in its daily intercessions.
The Friends receive a yearly Newsletter so that they may share more fully the concerns and activities, and the hopes and joys of the Nuns as they live this adventure called the Benedictine monastic life.