SPEC-50-of-143SPEC is the Diocese of Westminster’s residential retreat centre for children and young people in parishes and schools of the diocese. It is also a Catholic community made up of families, singles and young adults who are intentionally living a Christian life together and whose primary mission is fulfilled through our retreat ministry for young people in the diocese.

SPEC continues to settle at Waxwell Farm.

In August 2015 a new intake of volunteer missionaries arrived at SPEC, as we enter our second full year based in Pinner. Planning continues for the new-build accommodation and refectory that will enable us to run residential retreats.

There are two main construction projects which will provide:

  • A new-build residential building providing accommodation for two retreat groups of around 32 retreatants. This building will also provide most of the retreat spaces for primary-age groups and secondary-age groups. It will also incorporate a kitchen and refectory.
  • A refurbishment of the existing round conference building to make it a valuable retreat and meeting space.

As of August 2015, our transition plan looks like this:

2015-16 academic year

We will not be able to offer any residential retreats during this period and instead intend to maximise the use of the Waxwell Farm for day retreats.

Secondary school day retreats:

Years 7-8 and Years 9-13:

  • Maximum Group Size: 32
  • Days available: Tuesday – Friday

Confirmation day retreats:

  • Maximum Group Size: 32
    Days available: Saturday – Sunday

Primary schools:

Unfortunately we will be unable to provide any retreats for primary-school age children during this period.

2016-17 academic year

We hope that all the building development will be completed during the 2016-17 academic year. From this stage we will be working to maximise the use of SPEC for residential retreats and providing these will take precedence over offering day retreats.

We anticipate being able to offer:

  • Year 3-4: No provision
  • Years 5-13: Maximum group sizes of 32 Residential or 32 Day
  • Confirmation: Maximum group sizes of 32 Residential or 32 Day


Residential bookings will always be taken in preference to day bookings.