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.



Dear Friend

We need your help

The Carmelite Priory Boars Hill has started a renovation project to meet increased demand for the use of the Priory by many groups seeking somewhere to meet and reflect that is at once a place of beauty and an oasis of peace. Part of this project has been the conversion of our old garage into a beautiful meeting room and prayer space. The new space is now dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and is called 'Mount Carmel Room'.

The completed work will cost £69,781.00

Please, will you help?

To learn more about this vital renovation project, please click Fundraising Appeal to read a letter by Fr Liam Finnerty, the Prior. 


Thank you to those who have generously responded to our appeal.

We have received £16,000 to date.

Please help us to reach our target of £69,781.

What's on in January 2019

January 19    Spirituality Enrichment Lecture Series (SELS): Art and Prayer: Salvador Dali and St John of the Cross given by Dr Cyprian Blamires, OCDS

What's on in February 2019

February 2       Spirituality Enrichment Lecture Series (SELS): Contemplative Awareness - Living in the Divine Presence given by Angela Rogerson

February 4-8    Individually Guided Retreat.

February 8-10  Retreat: Carmelite Spirituality as a School of Freedom and Peace, led by Fr Liam Finnerty OCD

February 16     Spirituality Enrichment Lecture Series (SELS): A Learning Hidden Deep in the Heart - Reflections from the Third Spiritual Alphabet, Guide of St Teresa given by Julienne McLean



The retreat programmes for 2019 are now available. Please go to Retreats 2019 for more information. 

The first preached retreat in 2019 is on February 8-10, Carmelite Spirituality as a School of Freedom and Peace, led by Fr Liam Finnerty. 

There are many more opportunities for Individually Guided Retreats in 2019. Please go to Individually Guided Retreats for more information. 

To make a reservation, please go to Booking.


New programmes in 2019!

Please check out these pages:

Healing Mass (first Tuesday evenings at 7 pm) - starting in March

Contemplative Eucharist (third Tuesday evenings at 7 pm) - starting in March

Cheriths Days (first and third Wednesdays 10 am - 3 pm) - starting in March

Lectio Divina (Thursdays 7 pm - 8 pm) - starting in March

Dream Group (first and third Fridays 7 pm - 8:30 pm) - starting in March

Lenten Desert Wednesdays (March 13, 20, 27, April 3, 10)

Short Course on Carmelite Mystics (August 5-8)

The Carmelite Days are back with a new name 'Carmelite Days for Everyone' (Wednesdays May 29, June 26, July 24, September 25, and November 13 10:30 am - 4 pm)

For retreat programmes in 2019 and Individually Guided Retreat dates, please go to Retreats 2019 and Individually Guided Retreats.

Spirituality Enrichment Lecture Series (SELS) lectures list in 2019 is now posted.


Centre for Applied Carmelite Spirituality 

New Courses in 2019

The Centre for Applied Carmelite Spirituality is offering two new courses in 2019:

Living Prayer: A Carmelite Prayer Course on the Practice and Deepening of Contemplative Prayer and Living - September 2019 - June 2020 (a nine-month prayer course meeting one weekend a month)

Spiritual Direction Training Programme - September 2019 - July 2021 (a two-year programme with attendance at the Priory and learning through online facilities)

For more information: please go to (click) CACS- Carmelite Courses or the CACS website: www.cacarmelitesp.co.uk, or email: info@cacarmelitesp.co.uk or telephone: O1865 735133/730183 (press 1 for Retreat Centre or press 2 for CACS)


Scripture & Contemplative Spirituality Conference 

12th - 14th July, 2019

This conference will be held at the Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford

For more information: please go to www.cacarmelitesp.co.uk or email: info@cacarmelitesp.co.uk or telephone: 01865 735133/730183 (press 1 for Retreat Centre or press 2 for CACS)




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 4
Oct - Dec 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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