Monks who demonstrated their ability within a monastery were given positions of responsibility to ensure that the monastery itself ran smoothly. Such positions were created so that various parts of a monastery operated to the greatest efficiency – such as in the kitchens, the guest house, the infirmary etc.
Abbot: man chosen to lead the monks in a monastery. An abbot was seen as a man of great learning, a good example to the monks and a man of great holiness.
Cellarer: a monk who was in charge of a bake house and the brew house.
Chamberlain: a monk who looked after the day-to-day essentials of the monks – clean bedding; hot water for washing and shaving; keeping the washing area clean; ensuring that habits were well kept; keeping the cloister clean etc.
Hosteller: a monk who looked after visitors to the guesthouse.
Infirmarian: a monk who was put in charge of the infirmary.
Precentor: a monk who was in charge of the writing within a monastery.
Those who excelled in the work that they did laid sound foundations to succeed an abbot when that abbot died.