Welcome to the website of the Carmelite Priory in Oxford.

We are a small community of Discalced (Teresian) Carmelite friars who live their lives in allegiance to Jesus Christ focusing on prayer and retreat ministry following the teaching of Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint John of the Cross. Our home, the Priory, also known as Chilswell House at Boars Hill, is former home of the famous English poet Robert Bridges. We bought this house from the Bridges Family in 1961 and turned it into a centre of prayer and spiritual renewal.


The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Wednesday 15th August, 2018

Holy Mass will be celebrated at 12 noon at Boars Hill Priory, Oxford OX1 5HB

followed by procession to Our Lady's Shrine in the garden.


Afterwards, you are all welcome to have lunch together, bringing your own packed lunch.


What's on in August

August 13-16  Retreat: Life and teaching of St Edith Stein led by Fr Matt Blake OCD

August 17-19  Retreat: Saints Zelie and Louis Martin (parents of St Therese of Lisieux) led by Annette Goulden                                 OCDS

August 29       Carmelite Day: In the steps of St Teresa - at the Incarnation and beyond led by Chantal Haigh                                   OCDS

What's on in September

September 1   Carmelite Spirituality courses: School of Prayer and Prayer Guides courses commence.

September 1   Spirituality Enrichment Lecture Series: 'The Spotless Mirror of the Eternal Father' - Prayer,                            Silence and the Carmelite Tradition - given by Professor Peter Tyler.

September 15  Spirituality Enrichment Lecture Series: Invitation to Prayer in the Carmelite Tradition - given                            by Sr Jo Robson OCD

September 26   Carmelite Day: The challenge of contemplation - the Carmelite martyrs of the French                                        Revolution led by Deborah Hawley OCDS and Cyprian Blamires OCDS


Spirituality Enrichment Lecture Series (SELS)

The Centre for Applied Carmelite Spirituality is pleased to present the Spirituality Enrichment Lecture Series for 2018-9. Top academics, experts, authors and practitioners in the field of Carmelite Spirituality will be speaking at these lectures. They will explore the practice of contemplative prayer and spiritual guidance in the Carmelite tradition. For details, please go to Spirituality Enrichment Lectures.

September 1     'The Spotless Mirror of the Eternal Father': Prayer, Silence and the Carmelite Tradition

                         Speaker: Professor Peter Tyler

September 15   Invitation to Prayer in the Carmelite Tradition

                         Speaker: Sr Jo Robson OCD

Place: Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford OX1 5HB

Time: 10 am - 12 noon (9:30 am for registration)

Registration is required for these lectures. The cost of each lecture is £30.

To book a place, please email: events@cacarmelitesp.co.uk or phone: 01865 735133 (press 2 for Retreat Centre).



The School of Prayer and the Prayer Guides Course start on 1st September. Registered course members will be sent details of the course very shortly.

For general information about the courses, please go to CACS - Carmelite Studies or the CACS website (www.cacarmelitesp.co.uk).

Application closes on 15th August, 2018: please email courses@cacarmelitesp.co.uk or phone 01865 735133 (press 2 for Retreat Centre).


Pilgrimage to Avila – In the Footsteps of St Teresa

1st - 8th October, 2018

Fr Matt Blake OCD will lead a pilgrimage to Avila in the autumn, visiting Toledo, Avila, Alba des Tormes, Segovia, Fontiveros and Medina del Campo. For more information, please go to Pilgrimage to Avila. Reservations may be made through Barbara Thacker whose email address is: barbarathacker57@googlemail.com

Please book early as places are going fast.


Forthcoming retreats:

August 13-16  Life and teaching of St Edith Stein led by Fr Matt Blake OCD

August 17-19  Saints Zelie and Louis Martin (parents of St Therese) led by Annette Goulden OCDS

October 5-7     From arid land to green pastures led by Fr Alexander Ezechukwu OCD

and more .... Go to Retreats 2018


To make a reservation, please go to (click) Booking.


Carmelite Days 2018

The Carmelite Days are days of reflection on our Carmelite heritage, with a talk and time for recollection.

The dates for 2018 are now available. For dates, details of topics and speakers, please go to (click) Carmelite Days 2018.

The next Carmelite Day is on Wednesday August 29 - In the steps of St Teresa: at the Incarnation and beyond. Led by Chantal Haigh OCDS. There will be a Mass at 9:30 am for those who wish to attend. The talk starts at 10:30 am.




The Carmelite Priory in Oxford is hidden in the remote area of the Youlbury Woods, set in seventeen acres of woodland and surrounded by beautiful hills of Oxfordshire. It is, together with our retreat centre, an oasis of peace, stillness and prayer. While near to England's two largest cities, London and Birmingham, our retreat centre offers peaceful and green spaces being an ideal place for quiet prayer and meditation. This goes alongside our lifelong commitment to everyday liturgical and personal silent prayer. Therefore, all our guests are always very welcome to join us in this prayer.



The Retreat Centre is run by the community of friars and the Boars Hill Retreat Group. As a team of friars and laypeople working together, we welcome guests of all faiths, nations and social groups, as well as those with no faith who desire to search their own way to the wholeness and the meaning of life. We offer preached and guided retreats, based mostly on Carmelite spirituality and the ancient tradition of prayer. We are also available for private groups and individuals on private retreats. The centre has 27 rooms of which 13 are twin. The Chapel, Dining Room, conference rooms and the majority of the bedrooms are on the ground floor, with no steps. We hope that everyone who comes to stay with us for a while will experience an unforgettable encounter with God and others.


Fr Thaddeus Ekuma, OCD, from the Carmelite community in Oxford, leading the Wednesday Carmelite Day on August 2, 2017 discussing the Pauline inspiration of St John of the Cross.



Fr James McCaffrey, OCD, from the Carmelite community in Oxford, giving lectures on Scripture through the eyes of St Teresa of Jesus. To watch his videos, click the picture above.


Fr Matthew Blake, OCD, giving lectures on St Teresa of Jesus: "Life". To watch his videos, click the picture above.

To watch videos from other members of the Carmelite community, click here.

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

Saint Teresa of Avila

Teresian Press New Publications & Mount Carmel Magazine 

For the Carmelite Book Service online catalogue - please click here.

Mount Carmel Magazine
Mount Carmel Magazine
Volume 66, Number 2
Apr - Jun 2018
Writing of St Teresa of Avila
Writing of St Teresa of Avila
An Introduction
by Eugene McCaffrey, OCD
John of the Cross
John of the Cross
Season of Prayer
by Iain Matthew, OCD
Elizabeth of the Trinity
Elizabeth of the Trinity
Volume 1
by Joanne Mosley
Elizabeth of the Trinity
Elizabeth of the Trinity
Volume 2
by Joanne Mosley
Infinite Horizons
Infinite Horizons
Through Carmelite Eyes
by James McCaffrey, OCD






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