The Walsingham House Team have welcomed young people on retreat for more than thirty years, firstly at Chingford, then at Canvey Island, and now here at Abbotswick. As a young adult team, usually aged 19-25, supported by staff members who have years of Youth Ministry experience, the Walsingham House Team live the model advocated by Pope St John Paul II, Pope Benedict and Pope Francis, who have each expressed the deep truth that “the best evangelisers of young people are other young people.”

A residential retreat, especially, offers time, space and opportunity for personal prayer, and reflection, and for a group (be it school class, part of a year group, or a parish Confirmation or youth group) to bond in new ways, to discover each other’s gifts and talents. Our retreats are centred in prayer – and prayer is brought alive for young people. On the wall of our main room there is a cross made of 72 pieces of wood from around the world, expressing unity in diversity, and our mission as people sent by Christ, just as the original seventy two were sent. In our chapel, a place of beauty and tranquillity, young people Adore the Blessed Sacrament, celebrate Reconciliation and meditate in ways guided by the team. Young people are also encouraged in the theme of “Laudato Si”: our fourteen acres of magnificent grounds give plenty of opportunity to discover God in creation. We use art, and drama, to help different aspects of faith, and different Scripture passages, to resonate in the lives of the young people. Each residential retreat includes Mass – usually the culmination of the retreat.

For younger groups, and youth groups, we can offer a blend of retreat activities and “outward bound” or teambuilding activities. Local to us there is an outward bound centre, Stubbers, as well as a farm, and we can arrange our programme around trips to these places if that is helpful. Please call us to discuss these options further.

Day retreats offer a flavour of the residential opportunity; the day retreats are tightly packed with reflective activities and drama, as well as times of prayer and reflection. We can offer day retreats at Walsingham House at Abbotswick – and we are just 30 – 40 minutes from almost anywhere in Essex and East London. We can also bring the team to you, to a parish or school hall, and work with you locally. One of our staff team is dedicated to this work, and will liaise with you, as well as coming to see your setting if it is the first time we have worked there.

2018/19 Retreat Prices for School Groups, Confirmation Groups and Youth Groups

All residential retreats include meals, accommodation, guided discussions, workshops, activities and times of prayer. Included in the price are two free places for leaders; all groups must be accompanied by a minimum of two leaders, aged 18+, and further details about leader requirements will be given to you at the time of booking.

Weekend retreat (8pm Friday – 3pm Sunday) £75 per person
Three night midweek retreat (8pm Tuesday – 2pm Friday) £90 per person
Two night midweek retreat (10am Weds – 2pm Friday)* £70 per person
Two night midweek retreat (4pm Weds – 2pm Friday)* £65 per person
One night midweek retreat (10am day one – 2pm day two) £42.50 per person
One night midweek retreat (4pm day one – 2pm day two) £37.50 per person

* Two night retreats can also run Tuesday to Thursday

Day Retreats

Day retreats work best with small groups, ideally a class size. This allows maximum contact time for young people and the very best use of our retreat team. We know that class sized retreats are not always possible for schools and so adapt our programmes accordingly for larger groups where necessary. With a maximum of eight team members for a retreat, we advise that the absolute maximum size of a group is 100; we understand this may mean splitting a year into two halves, but experience shows that the large groups lose the intimacy of “retreat” and it becomes more of a “conference.”

Day retreats at Walsingham House are timed flexibly, to suit you – please do indicate times of arrival and departure upon booking to help us design the programme effectively. Students are required to bring a packed lunch on day retreats.

Outreach programmes usually run to the timings of your school day (in school or at a venue that is not Walsingham House), with break and lunchtimes kept the same where appropriate. James Lawry, our outreach co-ordinator, will arrange a visit to the school to meet with you and discuss the programme and room arrangements.

In House – Per class (typically 30 students) £350.00**
Outreach – Per class (typically 30 students) £380.00**
Outreach – 100 Students £1200.00**

*Discount Options
Recognising the costs of staff cover and coaches, we would like to offer a discount for multiple bookings. If you book 6 single days or more (either on outreach or at Walsingham House), or 3 residential retreats or more, you will receive a 10% discount.