Buckfast Abbey is giving thanks for the thousandth anniversary of its foundation through the setting up of the millennium fund to support Devon hospice charities.

All proceeds from the Millennium events will go towards the fund, which will then be split between Rowcroft Hospice, Hospiscare, North Devon Hospice, Children’s Hospice South West and St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth.

The Millennium Fund has been created from the Monastic Community’s wish to thank all those who have helped to make Buckfast Abbey what it is now by giving back to the community in Devon and in particular to those requiring the support of a hospice.

Abbot David Charlesworth of Buckfast Abbey said: “In thanksgiving for our millennium year, we have created the Millennium Fund so that the money raised from the celebratory events and services taking place this year, will be of benefit to the wider community in Devon.

“We believe that through Jesus Christ that what we do for those in need we do for him. Therefore, the Millennium Fund is for those in need today, for those who receive the benefit of our Devon hospices.”

Throughout 2018, Buckfast Abbey is celebrating its millennium with a variety of services and events including the Festival of Sacred Music in April, the Millennium Garden Fair in June and the Buckfast Abbey Storytelling Festival in July.

Whilst the services and events will be enjoyed by those in attendance, the community at Buckfast Abbey wishes that the year will create a lasting legacy that will long benefit the wider community of Devon.

Glynis Atherton, chief executive of Hospiscare in Exeter, said: “We are delighted and honoured that Hospiscare has been chosen as one of the Devon hospice charities to benefit from Buckfast Abbey’s Millennium Fund.

“This is a momentous year for the Abbey which recognises 1,000 years of devotion and service. At Hospiscare we provide specialist palliative care to people living in Exeter, Mid and East Devon. Every year we provide this very critical care and support to around 2,500 patients and those close to them.

Rowcroft Hospice community fundraising manager Rosey Oakes said: “On behalf of everyone at Rowcroft Hospice we would like to say a huge thank you to Buckfast Abbey for their amazing commitment to raising funds for us during their very special and significant millennium year.

“The majority of Rowcroft’s funding - more than 70 per cent - comes from the local community so every pound raised by the Abbey will make a huge difference and will help people living with life-limiting illnesses in South Devon, who are facing the hardest days imaginable, to spend precious time with their family and friends.

“We cannot thank the Abbey enough for their fantastic and vital support. Our thanks also extend to all those who will contribute to raising funds for us next year as part of the Abbey’s many planned and exciting activities.”

For further information on the Millennium Fund or the events and services at Buckfast Abbey, visit: www.buckfast.org.uk