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.


What's on in June

June 1-3          Retreat: "The great necessity that so many souls have" led by Fr Matt Blake OCD

June 23           A Day Pilgrimage to Walsingham (Pre-pilgrimage retreat - June 19-23)

June 27           Carmelite Day: What makes Carmel so distinctive and beautiful? Led by Gillian Coxhead

June 30           Retreat for married couples - Fulfilled in Love led by Fr Liam Finnerty OCD & Angelika Capp

What's on in July

July 13-15       Retreat: Our Lady of Mount Carmel - The Carmelite Marian tradition led by Fr Iain Matthew OCD

July 25            Carmelite Day: The beauty of God in St John of the Cross led by Barbara Thacker OCDS


A Saturday retreat for married couples


Date: 30th June 2018

Venue: Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill

Led by Fr Liam Finnerty OCD and Angelika Capp

This Saturday retreat offers married couples the opportunity to invest in the health and vitality of their relationship in an atmosphere of serenity, prayer and companionship....  For more information, please go to (click) Retreat - Fulfilled in Love.

To reserve a place, please go to Booking



Application opens - please email courses@cacarmelitesp.co.uk or phone 01865 322300

The Carmelite Priory is pleased to announce the establishment of the Centre for Applied Carmelite Spirituality (CACS). From September 2018, CACS will offer structured study and training programmes on Carmelite spirituality. A School of Prayer and a Prayer Guides Course will start in September 2018. For details please go to CACS - Carmelite Studies or the CACS website (www.cacarmelitesp.co.uk).


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:

July 13-15    Our Lady of Mount Carmel led by Fr Iain Matthew OCD

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

and more .... Go to Retreats 2018

For dates of Individually Guided Retreats, please go to (click) ‘Individually Guided Retreats’.  

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 June 27 - What makes Carmel so distinctive and beautiful? Led by Gillian Coxhead



Walsingham Pilgrimage 2018

Saturday 23rd June, 2018

For the programme of the day, please go to Walsingham Pilgrimage 2018. For other details, please contact Jane Nicholson (email: jnicholson@faracharity.org)

A coach/minibus will be organised for those travelling from Oxford: please contact Liz Beaton:  01993 703052 email: ebeaton345@gmail.com (For more details, please go to Walsingham Pilgrimage 2018.)

Pre-Pilgrimage Retreat at Dowry House, Walsingham: Tuesday 19th June - Saturday 23rd June

Booking: Email dowryhouse@walsingham.org.uk Telephone No. 01328 821293



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 1
Jan - Mar 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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