Like the Celtic houses of prayer and hospitality,
The Abbey of the Way is a peaceful refuge for
followers of Jesus
to rest, reflect, and grow
in their life with God
and in service to Him and to others.
The Abbey offers personal or group retreats,
led or hosted by staff and volunteers.
Through prayer gatherings,
spiritual direction or mentoring,
Christian Spiritual Formation events,
and online presentations and conversations,
we help leaders to discern, learn, and walk in
The Way of Jesus
even as they help others to do likewise.
You are invited
to enjoy a transformative experience
with God together with us!
NEWSFLASH! The Abbey plans to open a public Prayer Center in 2020. View this 1 Minute video, and/or then click on “Hermitage” for more info.
NEW PODCAST! Fr. Len and daughter-Pastor Sarah host the monthly “People of The Way” podcast for parents who wish to raise children of virtue who walk in the Way of Jesus. Click on “People” to find out more.
Who runs the Abbey?
It is directed by Father Len and Hallie Cowan, is overseen by a Board of Directors, is staffed by a community that shares its vision for ministry and lives its Way of Life, and is supported by all who believe in its ministry. It is in partnership with the Anglican Diocese in New England.
Len and Hallie met at a church renewal weekend while in college, and have been pursuing and promoting a deeper life in Christ ever since. Len served as an Episcopal priest for 37 years in three parishes, a summer camp, and regional and national renewal ministries. Hallie served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for 28 years, first as campus staff at three women’s colleges, then as Coordinator for Prayer and Spiritual Formation for staff in New England. While serving in their last parish, Len and Hallie developed and The Refuge, a parish-based center for renewal, retreat, and refreshment at the church building.
Len stepped down from parish ministry in 2015 to develop The Abbey of the Way, located at his childhood home in Worcester and repurposed as a center for prayer and spiritual formation for Christian leaders, where he and Hallie now live. The Abbey is grounded in a life of prayer and service kept by Len and Hallie, and promotes a Way of Life based on Christian virtues, activated by the Holy Spirit in response to spiritual disciplines. The Cowans are experienced Spiritual Directors, and are actively involved in promoting prayer in various Kingdom-focused networks of believers in Worcester and New England.
In January of 2017, Len transferred his priestly ministry to the Anglican Church in North America, assisting the Bishop of New England in fostering intercession. Though Anglicans, Len and Hallie are in fellowship with the breadth of the church, particularly embracing the evangelical, charismatic, catholic, and justice streams of renewal which advance the Kingdom of God in Jesus. They are part of The Journey, an independent church start in Worcester.
Hallie suffers from Multiple System Atrophy, a progressive disease similar to Lou Gehrig’s. With excellent medical care, the support of an amazing community of friends, and the Grace of God, she and Len continue to share in the ministry of The Abbey, though Len assumes the lead role.
The Cowans are blessed with two grown daughters who share their life in Christ, and two grandchildren who are growing in Christ.
Who can be a part of the Abbey and its ministry?
Though the Abbey’s particular focus is for building up Christian leaders, anyone is welcome to find refuge here.