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.
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.
What's on in December
December 14 - 16 Retreat: "All my cares forgotten among the lillies" St John of the Cross' route to true freedom. Led by Fr Matt Blake OCD
December 22 Spirituality Enrichment Lecture Series (SELS): The Heart of Teresian Prayer: Friendship - Divine and Human given by Odile Rimbert NDV
December 14-16 "All my cares forgotten among the lilies" - the Dark Night of St John of the Cross as the authentic route to true freedom, lasting peace and the fullness of life. Led by Fr Matt Blake OCD
To make a reservation, please go to (click) Booking.
For retreats in 2019, please go to Retreats 2019.
New programmes in the new year!
Please check out these pages:
Healing Mass (first Tuesday evenings at 7 pm)
Contemplative Eucharist (third Tuesday evenings at 7 pm)
Cheriths Days (first and third Wednesdays 10 am - 3 pm)
Lectio Divina (Thursdays 7 pm - 8 pm)
Dream Group (first and third Fridays 7 pm - 8:30 pm)
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)
Spirituality Enrichment Lecture Series (SELS) lectures list in 2019 is now posted.
Welcoming the New Year
December 28 - January 2 (length of stay is flexible)
Come celebrate a few days to bid farewell to last year and to create some space for the surprises, challenges and blessings waiting in the wings of 2019. There will be mini-presentations, group work, prayer and personal reflection, an opportunity to meet daily with a spiritual director if desired, as well as rituals and letting go of the old and welcoming the new. Candlelight dinner and social evening on Monday 31st. All in the welcoming environment of the Priory. For more information, call 01865 735133/730183 (press 1 for Retreat Centre) or email email@example.com
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.