To book a retreat, please click here or phone 01865 735133 (press 1 for Retreat Centre)

Preached Retreats

Each weekend Preached Retreat begins with a meal at 18:30 on the Friday evening and ends on the Sunday after lunch. (Please note – some Preached Retreats may take place during weekdays: see programme.) There will be talks and the opportunity to join the Carmelite Community for the Eucharist and liturgical prayer, as well as time for silent prayer, reflection, reading and rest. We try to keep an atmosphere of silence throughout our retreats.

February 8-10 Carmelite Spirituality as a School of Freedom and Peace
Drawing on the spiritual classics of the Spanish mystics, Tersea of Avila and John of the Cross, as well as other Carmelite saints, this retreat will explore with participants Carmelite spirituality as a trusted path towards a deeper experience of union with the Divine in everyday experience. Come and discover how insights from Carmelite Spirituality can be applied in real-life situations and thus offering real opportunities for growth in the spiritual life.

Fr Liam Finnerty, OCD

March 1-3
“I have brought you into the Land of Carmel”: An Introduction to what we mean by Carmelite Spirituality
Fr Matt Blake, a Carmelite priest, is a renowned speaker and authority on Carmelite spirituality. He will explore with us what is meant by Carmelite spirituality, a trusted path to get closer to God and deepen our experience of the Divine Mystery.

Fr Matt Blake, OCD

March 22-24
“The Road Less Travelled”: The Problem of Addiction, and Help from the Gospel of Jesus
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. And the life that I am now living in this body I live by the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20) What insights can we draw from this profound testimony of Saint Paul? During this retreat we will look at addiction from the perspective of spirituality in order to discover how the redeeming power of the Gospel of Jesus addresses the problem of addiction and offers an authentic solution.

Fr Liam Finnerty, OCD

March 29-31
The Cross and the Glory of Christ: Maturing in our Following of Jesus Christ, enriched and guided by the Poetry and Teaching of St John of the Cross
At this retreat, Fr Matt Blake, a Carmelite priest, renowned speaker and authority on Carmelite spirituality will help us discover the gems in the spiritual classics of the Spanish mystic, John of the Cross. Through his commentary on his poetry, John describes how one makes progress in the spiritual life and in the coming to maturity in Christ. Join us as Fr Matt helps us to explore John’s poetry and teaching on the spiritual maturity.

Fr Matt Blake, OCD

April 12-14
“Ours were the sufferings he bore.” (cf. Isaiah 53:4) Reflections in preparation for Holy Week
As we step into Holy Week, we walk deep into the territory of our own lives. We will spend time pondering on the scriptures as they take us into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings and his victory in the resurrection.

Fr Liam Finnerty, OCD

April 17-21 Easter Triduum Retreat (Please note this retreat starts at 5:30 pm on Wednesday)
“He is Risen!”
Each year we celebrate the central mystery of our faith, the death and resurrection of Jesus. This year we will start with a Seder Meal on Wednesday. Because schedules vary with each individual, our retreat is flexible to allow participants to join or leave at different times. Guests are also welcome to spend private days before entering into the Sacred Triduum by calling the Retreat Centre Office to make reservations.

Carmelite Community

April 17 Seder Meal (non-residential) 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Celebrating the Christian Seder Meal and reflections on key ancient Jewish beliefs that hold the key to our understanding the original meaning of the Eucharistic words of Jesus.

Fr Alex Ezechukwu, OCD

May 17-19 “Elijah climbed to the top of Carmel”
Elijah, the Prophet of Prayer, Contemplation and Zeal for the word of God: Reflections on Elijah’s role and influence in the Carmelite tradition.

Fr Matt Blake, OCD

May 31 – June 2  ‘A Man of Letters’: Blessed John Henry Newman and his Apostleship of the Pen

Fr Michael Miners, OCDS

June 7-9 Pentecost Retreat
“God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us’ (Romans 5:5)

Fr Liam Finnerty, OCD

June 21-23  ‘Called to Holiness: God has given you a task to fulfil’
A weekend of discernment for 20-35-year-olds

Fr John McGowan, OCD

CANCELLED – July 5-7  ‘Come be my light’: St Teresa of Calcutta as a ‘Saint of Darkenss’
Reflections on her life, work and spiritual trials.

Fr Michael Miners, OCDS

July 15-16  Our Lady of Mount Carmel
The Silent Prayer of Mary Our Mother

Fr Thaddeus Ekuma, OCD

August 16-18 Mary, the ‘Perfect Mirror’ of God’s Glory
Exploring Mary in the light of the Carmelite tradition

Fr Liam Finnerty, OCD

October 14-15 (Vigil Retreat – St Teresa of Jesus)
Insights from Teresa’s spiritual classics for our journey towards God.

Fr Liam Finnerty, OCD

October 18-20 “The door of entry to this Castle is Prayer and Meditation”
A retreat drawing on the wisdom of St Teresa’s Interior Castle

Fr Matt Blake, OCD

November 15-17 “The vast solitude in which God will make Himself heard”
St Elizabeth of the Trinity invites us and inspires us to enter that place within ourselves where God lives and communicates.

Fr Matt Blake, OCD

November 29 – December 1 “His name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Reflections in Preparation for Christmas

Fr Thaddeus Ekuma, OCD

December 6-8  St Teresa of Avila’s love for Fr Jerome Gratian

Fr John McGowan, OCD

December 13-15  “The song of the sweet nightingale – a new spring in spiritual freedom and breadth and gladness”
Humanity and all of creation transformed by relationship with the God of love and beauty – as sung and celebrated in John of the Cross’ Spiritual Canticle.

Fr Matt Blake, OCD

December 20-22  The Mystery of Christmas
A Christmas Preparation Weekend Retreat

Fr Liam Finnerty, OCD

Suggested Offerings for Retreats

The price can vary according to the retreat on offer. Unless specifically stated otherwise on the programme, our quoted prices for retreats are fully inclusive of participation in the retreat, accommodation in our guest rooms (including towels and linen), all meals and refreshments, and full access to our Retreat Centre’s facilities.

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, which covers only the basic expenses of providing lodging and food. 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. Giving a little more will help to cover the cost of your retreat 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

Our price has remained unchanged since 2014, and as a result of the cost of inflation and the need to improve the facilities of the Retreat Centre, we have taken the painful and reluctant decision to increase the price for retreat attendance. From 1st January, 2019, the daily rate (24 hours with full board) will be increased to £75 and for those sharing a room will be increased to £65 per person.

For a weekend retreat (Friday evening to Sunday lunch), the price is:

Single occupancy – £150
Sharing a room – £130 per person
Deposits (non-refundable): 20% of total offering

We are grateful for your understanding and generosity.

Individually Guided Retreats

Sometimes we need time away from our busy schedules to relax, pray and reflect. Come, take time to refresh and renew yourself with a few quiet days at the Priory. Participants are welcome to join the Carmelite Community for the Eucharist and prayer. Each Directed Retreat begins with a meal at 6:30 pm on the day of arrival and ends after lunch on the day of departure. We try to keep an atmosphere of silence throughout our Directed Retreats.

The IGR team includes Barbara Thacker, OCDS, Fr Paul King, Fr Thaddeus Ekuma, OCD, Fr John Hughes, OCD, Annette Goulden, OCDS, Fr Alexander Ezechukwu, OCD, David Ellington, OCDS, Fr Liam Finnerty, OCD, Sue Pacey, OCDS, Fr Yamai Bature, OCD, Fr Kelvin Ekhoegbe, OCD and Anne Donald, OCDS. Each IGR is led by a member of the team. For details of the full team for each date, and further details about the Retreat Directors, see

FEBRUARY 4-8 (4 days) Led by David Ellington, OCDS
MARCH 4-8 (4 days) Led by Fr Liam Finnerty, OCD
MARCH 25-29 (4 days) Led by Sue Pacey, OCDS
APRIL 8-12 (4 days) Led by Fr Thaddeus Ekuma, OCD
JULY 1-7 (6 days) Led by Fr Yamai Bature, OCD
JULY 21-24 (3 days) Led by Fr Kelvin Ekhoegbe, OCD
SEPTEMBER 2-6 (4 days) Led by Barbara Thacker, OCDS
NOVEMBER 4-8 (4 days) Led by Fr Liam Finnerty, OCD
DECEMBER 9-13 (4 days) Led by Fr Paul King
DECEMBER 16-22 (6 days) Led by Fr Yamai Bature, OCD
DEC 28 – JAN 2 (5 days) Led by Fr Alexander Ezechukwu, OCD

Please click here to book a retreat.  If you wish to book by telephone, the number for the Retreat Centre is 01865 735133/730183 (press 1 for Retreat Centre).

Suggested offering for a 3-day IGR: £225 (single room) / £195 (sharing a twin room).
Suggested offering for a 4-day IGR: £300 (single room) / £260 (sharing a twin room).
Suggested offering for a 5-day IGR: £375 (single room) / £325 (sharing a twin room).
Suggested offering for a 6-day IGR: £450 (single room) / £390 (sharing a twin room).
These prices are all-inclusive.
The duration of your stay per 24hrs – arrival from 3pm and departure after lunch.  Supper is not routinely served on Sunday


Please make cheques payable to ‘Carmelite Priory’ or call the Retreat Centre for other payment methods.

Postal address: Carmelite Priory in Oxford, Chilswell House, Boars Hill,
Oxford, OX1 5HB
Phone: 01865 735133 or 01865 730183

Private Retreats

Come take time to refresh and renew oneself with a few quiet days at the Priory. Meeting daily with a spiritual director is an option (a suggested offering of £20 per session will be gratefully received). Guests are welcome to join the Carmelite Community for the Eucharist and prayer. As with our other retreats, we encourage private retreatants to keep an atmosphere of silence throughout their stay. Please call the Retreat Centre (01865 735133/730183 press 1) to check availability.