Monks’ Cell

From an idea from a former minister of St. Theodore of Canterbury, the “Monks’ Cell” was born in 1968. The success of the original Monks’ Cell exceeded expectations and it became an annual event. By the third year it had been extended to include Friday and Saturday evenings. The Monks’ Cell is held on the second weekend after Easter each year. In 2019 we celebrate the 52nd Monks’ Cell.

If you have never booked a table at the Monks’ Cell, then you have missed an experience that has become a trademark of St. Theodore’s. For 40 years, when most other Anglican Churches were resting from the celebrations of Easter, we here at St. Theodore’s were just ratcheting up the energy to mount a unique dining experience that sees an average of five hundred guests seated, wined and dined in a mediaeval setting reminiscent of a monastery refectory. There is probably nothing else like it in Canada.

Walking through the experience

Your reservations are made. You have a largish party of diners (we can seat and serve parties from one to 30) and you arrive at St. Theodore’s Church. The first thing you probably notice is that there is parking space for your car and a convenient drop-off point for any disabled members you may have. Inside the building you check your coats with our friendly “sisters” and sit in the pews until your party is called down to the dining area by a red-robed monk. You might use our elevator or walk down the rear stairs to the right of the sanctuary.

Once through the double doors at the base of the stairs, the full effect of the dining area draws you into the mediaeval mood. The central hearth glows with charcoal as steaks and chickens are barbequed; the crests and banners decorating the walls suggest that stone may be the only building material here, and candlelight may be the only source of lighting. Throughout this area are tables, which the Abbot has prepared for your group in advance. You sit in groups of four and six, and the experience begins.

Your waiters, monkish in their brown robes, introduce themselves and begin the service. Your wine steward, suitably bucolic and wearing blue, arrives to fill and refill your wine glass as it empties. The novice monk assisting your waiter brings juice, salad and bread, and your waiter brings the rare steak (or the chicken) you ordered. As conversation and conviviality enliven your table, the dessert stewards arrive to fill your plate with apple pie and old-world cheeses. Coffee or tea follow.

Making reservations
If you are not on our contact list you can write to so that we can contact you in time to make reservations. The Monks’ Cell is held on the second Friday and Saturday after Easter.