Since the foundation of St Augustine’s Abbey in 1856, the Benedictine Monks have sought various ways to support themselves. In 2004, one of the monks took possession of a colony of bees which is now a well-established monastic apiary numbering between ten and fifteen hives.
In 2007 a Novice suggested making traditional beeswax furniture polish, as a way of utilising the surplus beeswax from the apiary. Sanctuary Polish is made using genuine turpentine, following a traditional recipe which is sure to nourish and protect all manner of home furnishings from dining-room tables to parquet floors.
After several months, a friend of the monastery suggested making a beeswax lip balm. Although some of the monks had never heard of using beeswax for cosmetic purposes, a recipe was soon discovered, and production of Sanctuary Balm began. Two years on, the monks currently offer a range of different flavoured beeswax lip balms, which not only moisturise and offer relief for dry, sore, or chapped lips, but also provide a long-lasting savour, thanks to the high-grade, organic essental oils used in the preparation.
In March 2008 the monks began preparing Sanctuary Skin Cream, a moisturising hand and skin cream which contains a blend of organic oils, beeswax, cocoa butter and aloe vera juice.