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 established at Waxwell Farm, Pinner

In August 2014 a new intake of volunteer missionaries arrived at SPEC, marking the start of our first full year at our new home in Pinner is now complete. Earlier in the summer we received planning permission for the new-build accommodation and refectory that will enable us to run residential retreats. We hope that completion will be sometime in the 2015-16 academic year but more planning is needed before a better estimate can be made.

There are two main construction projects which, subject to planning permission, will provide:

A refectory and kitchen to cater for 60 young people, group leaders and SPEC Community.
A residential building providing accommodation for two retreat groups of around 30 retreatants. This building will also provide the retreat spaces for primary-age groups and some of the retreat spaces for older groups.
As of August 2014, our transition plan looks like this:

2014-15 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. We will not be running any retreats at the Centre for Youth Ministry during this period.

Secondary school and confirmation day retreats:

We can be confident of running these day retreats in the existing buildings at Waxwell Farm and will taking bookings from Monday 24 February 2014.

Primary school day retreats:

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

Years 7-8 and Years 9-13:

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


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

First Holy Communion:

  • No provision

2015-16 academic year

We hope that all the building development will be completed during the 2015-16 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.