The library

The library of the John Bishop Charitable Trust is located at Bec Abbey in Normandy.

Dr John Bishop formed the collection of about 5,000 volumes over several decades as his own working library. It reflects the wide breadth of his theological enquiry. Most areas of theology are well represented.

Fr Bishop’s original collection forms the core of the library which has been added to regularly with a substantial number of new accessions.

The work of keeping the collection up to date started in 1998.

The library is developing particular strengths in the areas of Anglican history and doctrine, and ecumenism. Readers will find additional material in the series of journals (some of these continuous since the 1950s) and in the reference works.

The library of the John Bishop Charitable Trust has been integrated with Bec Abbey’s own large collection, which itself contains a number of English language works.

The library is housed in several rooms in the Abbey. The main reading room is magnificently panelled in oak. It was skilfully constructed as part of a restoration in the 1980s. There is comfortable provision for 24 readers.

The community administers the library with the assistance of a layman. They maintain the collection to the best academic standards. Readers will find the library a conducive place for study; it is quiet, light and well ordered.