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Monastic Jobs
Lots of different types of Monks

Monks working in the Fields -  Nash Ford Publishing


The monks in a monastery did lots of different jobs like bee keeping, wine making, brewing, milling, looking after animals, growing fruit & vegetables, harvesting, fishing, building, carpentry, stonemasonry & copying manuscripts. They still spent a lot of the day praying though. Some monks had specific duties and they were given special names:
  • Abbot - The monk in charge
  • Prior -  The Abbot's helper
  • Sub-Prior - The Prior's helper
  • Cellarer - The monk in charge of stores and supplies
  • Cook - The monk in charge of cooking meals
  • Sacrist - The monk in charge of the abbey's treasures
  • Chamberlain - The monk in charge of clothes and bedding
  • Guest Master - The monk who looked after abbey guests
  • Almoner - The monk who gave food and clothes to the poor
  • Infirmarer - The doctor monk
  • Herbalist - The monk who made medicines
  • Cantor or Precentor - The monk in charge of singing
  • Illuminators - Monks who paint pretty pictures in manuscripts
  • Choir or Cloister Monks - Ordinary monks
  • Novices - Boy monks
  • Master of the Novices - The teacher monk
  • Lay Brothers - Non-monks who worked at the abbey
  • Lay Servants - Hired help


    Nash Ford Publishing 2004. All Rights Reserved.