Policies, T & C
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
1. The Carmelite Priory is home to a small community of Discalced Carmelite friars who live their lives in allegiance to Jesus Christ, focusing on prayer, spiritual guidance and retreat ministry based mostly on Carmelite spirituality and its ancient tradition of prayer. Our home is set in seventeen acres of woodland and surrounded by the beautiful hills of Oxfordshire. It is an oasis of peace, stillness and prayer. Its peaceful and green spaces offer an ideal place for quiet prayer and meditation and we are also available for private groups and individuals on private retreats.
In collaboration with a team of Secular Carmelites, the Discalced Carmelite friars run the Carmelite Retreat Centre and the Centre for Applied Carmelite Spirituality (CACS) where we welcome all who desire to search their own way to the wholeness and the meaning of life.
The Carmelite Priory’s aim is to promote the richness of Carmelite teachings within the broad perspective of Christian spirituality to a diverse range of audiences through a range of taught courses. These are currently delivered through the priory’s retreat programmes and the spiritual formation courses run by CACS. In this way, we provide the space and resources for people to experience the light, love and life that is the free gift of God.
Our values inform the choices we make, what we do and the way we do it. Our values are:
Christ-centred community life; Friendship; Prayer; Silence
The core of our Carmelite spirituality is a journey of the heart. Therefore, we respect each person’s sacred journey along the path to wholeness and meaning of life. And, while our lives are centred on Jesus Christ and his Church, we never impose our faith or belief on others.3.
2. Personal Wellbeing
Programme participants are responsible for maintaining their own wellbeing and should inform their programme leaders and relevant Priory staff of any health issues that arise during their stay. Programme participants should inform the Priory at the time of booking of any pre-existing medical conditions and also ensure that they bring with them, and continue to take, an adequate supply of any prescription medicines.
3. Visa Requirements
It is the responsibility of each person visiting the Priory to ensure that they have the appropriate documents and paperwork to allow entry into the UK. The usual visa for Carmelite Priory guests to apply for is the UK Standard Visitor visa – visit https://www.gov.uk/standard-visitor-visa/overview for more information. Under UK law it is necessary for the Carmelite Priory to check the guests’ entitlement to stay at the Priory.
o We prefer payment by card or cheque. We accept most credit or debit cards. Please do not send cash in the mail. If you have contacted us and arranged to pay by cheque, these should be made payable to Carmelite Priory.
o Payment should be in pounds sterling (GBP – £). It is also possible to pay using a bank transfer. If you have contacted us and arranged to pay by BACS, please make payment using your booking reference number and the following details as needed:
Sort Code: 20-65-18
Account number: 80251216
IBAN: GB94BUKB 20651880251216
Please send email confirmation to our office at email@example.com so that we can trace your payment.
o Unless specifically stated otherwise on the programme page, a non-refundable deposit of 20% of the total cost of the programme is required. This deposit is not refunded unless your programme is cancelled by us (see point 6 below).
o For individuals, the balance of the payment must be paid at least 28 days before the start date of the retreat or programme. For groups, the balance of the payment must be paid at least 28 days before the start date of the programme. We will take this from your credit/debit card automatically, or you can send us a cheque or bank transfer.
o For bookings made within 28 days of programme start date, the full payment becomes due immediately.
o Wait for confirmation before making travel arrangements as we cannot guarantee bookings for any given week. Please allow 1–2 weeks for confirmation, although we will endeavour to contact you well before this.
o Group bookings: Both the deposit and the final payment for all group bookings should be made by the group organiser as a single payment.
o Day visitors are asked to pay in full at the time of booking.
5. Suggested Offering
The price can vary according to the programme on offer. Our quoted prices for retreats, courses and events are fully inclusive of participation in the retreat or event, refreshments, and full access to our Retreat Centre’s facilities.
Before you book your place, please take a moment to consider that the Carmelite Priory is a Charitable Trust. We believe that the benefits of Carmelite spirituality should be available to everyone regardless of their financial or life situation, and that the transformational journey is enriched by a diversity of participants.
We recognise that what is affordable for some can be a financial stretch for others and so we propose a suggested offering. When you book, please consider that the suggested offering reflects a partial bursary toward the cost of your retreat or programme and is intended for those with minor financial need. Giving a little more will help to cover the cost of your retreat/course and includes a contribution to our bursary fund. This will make participation possible for one or more people who otherwise would not be able to join our transformational work in the world, as well as, enable us to sustain our learning and guest facilities. Thank you.
For anyone who may still struggle to make the full suggested offering for our programmes, we may be able to help. Please contact the Retreat Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have to cancel your booking:
o If you cancel more than 28 days before the programme start date, we will refund the amount you have paid less the deposit as the deposit is non-refundable. If you have paid only the deposit, we are unable to offer any refund.
o If you cancel within 28 days of the programme start date, we will refund 50% of your payment after deducting the deposit as the deposit is non-refundable.
o If you cancel within 7 days of the programme, we are unable to refund any of your payment.
o If you cancel after the programme has commenced, we are unable to refund any of your payment.
o On any refund made to a credit/debit card there is a fee of £5.
If we have to cancel a programme:
o Sometimes we have to cancel our programmes due to unforeseen circumstances or low numbers. We will do our best to notify you of this 28 days before the start date of your programme with us.
o Hopefully you would find another retreat/programme running at the same time that you would like to attend. We would then apportion your payment to the new programme.
o If you would prefer a refund, we will refund the full amount that you paid including the deposit.
If we have to cancel your programme:
o In all cases, Carmelite Priory reserves the right to cancel a booking that has been reserved or booked. This is extremely unlikely, but should this event occur, you will be fully refunded, and we will endeavour to inform you as soon as we can.
o If we are forced to cancel later than 28 days before your programme at the Priory we will try our best to transfer your booking to another date. If this is not feasible for you then the full fee will be payable.
7. Accommodation and Meals
Our accommodation is simple, and rooms are either single or twin (also available for single occupancy). There are shared bathroom, shower and toilet facilities divided between male and female use. Rooms are on either the ground floor or the first floor, so it is important to consider the use of stairs. Towels and bed linen are provided. You are required to notify the Retreat Centre of any special needs at the time of reservation.
The price for accommodation is exclusive of the suggested offerings for our retreats, courses and other programmes we offer, but fully inclusive of all meals and refreshments with a selection of teas and coffees and snacks, and full access to our Retreat Centre’s facilities.
No refunds or reductions are made for accommodation and meals paid for and not taken.
We are happy to provide vegetarian food. Vegan, wheat free, sugar free, as well as gluten and dairy free alternatives can be requested. If you require a diet that is more specialised, we cannot guarantee to fulfil your needs. We cannot cater for people with serious food allergies or multiple food intolerances.
8. Arrivals and Departures
Most retreats begin in the evening with arrivals from 4-6pm and end at 9am, after breakfast. Weekend retreats begin with a meal at 6:30pm on Friday evening and ends on Sunday after lunch.
Your room will be available from 4pm on the day of your arrival. If you need to arrive earlier, please contact us to see if this can be arranged. Guests are requested to vacate their rooms by 10.00am on the day of departure even if you are departing in the afternoon. You will have access to other public areas in the Centre during that period.
The Retreat Centre has wheelchair access and one room with disabled toilet / shower facilities.
You are invited to bring soft-soled / non-slip shoes. You may also wish to bring walking shoes if you decide to avail of the Oxfordshire Countryside; there are three footpaths to follow in the surrounding area. A map will be provided upon request.
9. Private Retreat
We are pleased to accept people for private, silent retreats (not guided) if they have previously attended a programmed event at the Carmelite Priory. This is subject to a room being available.
10. Exclusive Group Bookings (see point 4 above on deposit and payment in full 28 days in advance)
For groups wishing to stay at the Centre for 3 nights or more, we are able to offer exclusive use of the Retreat Centre to incorporate the conference facilities in the Annexe and Pyramid building: the meeting rooms, dining area and accommodation. You will be able to enjoy the beauty of the countryside and the quiet and solitude of the Carmelite Priory.
For further information, including details of our exclusive group rates, please contact:
The Administrator at email@example.com
11. Photography and Video Release
The Carmelite Priory or its agents may video or photograph retreats, conferences and events, which will include its participants, some of which will be used for promotional or informational purposes in our brochures, website and newsletters. We will always endeavour to inform you of any photography beforehand but by participating in an event you agree that the Priory or its agents may take photographs that include your image and agree to the Priory’s usage of your image for promotional or informational purposes without compensation of any kind. If you wish to not agree to Photo Release, you must request by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will ensure that your image does not appear on our website or marketing material.
12. Damage and Liability
All information included in any of our publicity is correct at time of going to press and is subject to change. Whilst every effort is made to provide the retreats, courses and services as advertised, we do not accept liability for:
o Cancellations or changes caused by unavailability of presenters, staff, low bookings, weather conditions, maintenance work, acts of God, acts of Government or any other authorities, or any situations beyond our control or subsequent to participation in one of our programmes.
o Participants’ medical or psychiatric conditions which may exist, or which may arise during or subsequent to participation in one of our programmes.
o Loss of, or damage to, personal property of our guests.
Guests and visitors will be liable for the cost of repair or replacement of any damage caused to the buildings, grounds or property of the Priory for which they are personally responsible.
We reserve the right to ask any visitor to leave if their behaviour is disruptive to the function of the Priory and community or interferes with the rights of others.
Guide dogs and hearing dogs are the only pets allowed.
14. Smoking and open fires
In accordance with legislation no smoking is permitted in any of our buildings. There should be no fires in rooms (including incense and candles).
We do not store credit card details, nor do we share customer details with any third parties.
16. Data Protection
Personal information provided by guests is stored securely in the Centre's records system and will be used solely for the Centre's purposes. It will not be passed on to anyone else.
17. Discalced Carmelite Safeguarding Policy Statement
It is the policy of the Discalced Carmelite Friars to do everything in our power to safeguard the welfare of children and vulnerable adults to whom we minister or with whom we share our lives.
In the final instance, all matters arising from a dispute are subject to English law and are subject to the jurisdiction of the English courts.