The Carmelite Priory in Oxford is set in seventeen acres of woodland, hidden in the remote area of the Youlbury Woods. Our retreat centre is situated within this oasis of beautiful hills, woods and meadows, which offers us a perfect environment of peace and stillness for quiet prayer and meditation.*
We offer retreat programmes and welcome all who come here to spend time for silent prayer, reflection, reading and rest in this quiet and peaceful environment where God can work in your lives and speak to your hearts. To this end, we try to keep an atmosphere of silence throughout these retreats. You are also welcome to join the Carmelite Community for the Eucharist (Mass) and liturgical prayers.
The Retreat Centre offers a variety of retreats as follows:
Preached retreats: these focus on various Carmelite-related themes, and provide opportunities for private consultation/confession. (See programme below.) Each preached retreat are typically held at weekends, beginning with evening meal at 6:30 pm on Friday and ending after lunch on Sunday. Please note that some Preached Retreats may occur during weekdays. Kindly refer to the programme for specific starting day.
Individually Guided Retreats: at these retreats each participant meets privately with an accompanying retreat guide each day and spends the rest of the day in prayer and reflection. Each Individually Guided Retreat begins with evening meal at 6:30 pm on the day of arrival and ends after lunch on the day of departure. (Please click Individual Guided Retreats for dates and details of the IGR team.)
Private Retreats: these retreats are for anyone who wishes to take time to be by oneself for self-renewal, prayer and reflection, and even relaxation, at a time of their choosing, subject to availability of rooms. Meeting with a spiritual director is an option.
Carmelite Days: these are quiet days for recollection to share the core aspects of the Carmelite heritage. These days are held on Wednesdays, beginning with a Mass at 9:30 am and concluding at 3:30 pm. There will be a talk and guided reflections. The rest of the day is given to recollection and prayers. (Please click Carmelite Days for the programme and dates.) You are welcome to participate at the Morning Prayer (Liturgy of the Hours) which takes place at 9:05 am. Soup lunch will be provided.
* There are footpaths around the Priory for anyone who wishes to take a stroll. Suggested walks are available in the Information Brochures in the rooms. Please remember to bring your walking boots during wet seasons.
April 8 – 12 led by the Carmelite Community
Christ our Light (Easter Triduum Retreat)
Easter Triduum Retreat (April 8-12) will be held online, without charge. Donations are welcome to cover the necessary expenses incurred. Details of the programme and the online access will be announced soon. Those who have booked to attend the retreat will be able to transfer their deposits to future retreats or request a refund, as desired. Please get in touch with the Retreat Centre Administrator to make your wishes known. (Tel. No.: 07843 090185; Email: email@example.com)
September 25 – 27 led by Armelle Belcher, OCDS
“A child in the garden” - St Mary of Jesus Crucified and Nature - the fabric of her poetry and humility.
October 9 -11 led by Fr Matt Blake, OCD
“Let us now speak of those who are beginning to be servants of love” (St Teresa’s teaching on prayer in the Book of her Life, chapters 11 – 22)
December 11 – 13 led by Fr Matt Blake, OCD
“The flame of love is the Spirit of its Bridegroom, who is the Holy Spirit” (St John of the Cross’ Living Flame - a celebration of the Holy Spirit’s role in the person’s spiritual growth and transformation)
December 21 – 23 led by Carmelite Community
Christ our Light (Christmas Retreat)
Suggested Offerings for Retreats:
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 also 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 and is intended for those with minor financial need. What you are able to offer will make participation possible for one or more people who otherwise could not afford to do so. Thank you.
For anyone who may still struggle to make the full suggested offering for our rretreats, we may be able to help. Please kindly contact the Retreat Director at firstname.lastname@example.org
The following are suggestions to cover our costs:
Daily rate (24 hours with full board):
For a single room £75
For a shared room £65 per person
For weekend retreats or 2-night stays £75 (£20 of this deposit is non-refundable)
For longer retreats beyond 2-night stays £150 (£40 of this deposit is non-refundable)
Please click here to book a retreat. Or, phone the Retreat Centre: 01865 735133/730183 (press 1 for Retreat Centre), or email: email@example.com
Please make cheques payable to 'Carmelite Priory' or call the Retreat Centre for other payment methods.
Please note that we are no longer able to receive payments by credit/debit cards by filling in a form. All card payments are to be processed by the Retreat Centre Administrator during her office hours. Payments by cash or cheques are still possible, if you were to pay on arrival at the Retreat Centre at weekends. However, we strongly encourage you to pay your offerings before your attendance at the retreat, whereby various options of payment are available and one of these may be more convenient to you.
Postal address: Carmelite Priory, Boars Hill, Oxford OX1 5HB