SPEC Retreat Centre is located on a beautiful plot of land in the village of Pinner. The area was historically called Waxwell Farm, and consists of 7 acres of garden, and a large building consisting of a Tudor wing, a Victorian wing, and a modern wing. Starting in September 2017, there will also be a new Residential Building where SPEC retreats will take place and accommodations so that retreatants will be able to stay overnight.
SPEC Main Building
As mentioned before, the main building at Waxwell consists of 3 sections. The Tudor wing, the Victorian wing, and the Modern wing. The Tudor wing was constructed at the end of the 16th Century. An extension was added in the 1800s and is aptly called the Victorian wing. In 1947 Waxwell was purchased as a gift for the Grail Society. The chapel and accommodation – the Modern wing – was added in 1957 and the recently renovated Rotunda in 1963. Waxwell Farm was purchased by the Diocese of Westminster in 2010 and became SPEC’s new home in March 2014.
The Tudor wing has separated access and is typically where our Director lives and works. Like any authentic Tudor building, it has some unleveled floors, exposed beams, and it quite small. But all these qualities add incredible character to the space.
The Victorian wing is home to our dining spaces and office areas. It’s also where we have small group rooms for the 2016-2017 groups that visit. However, starting in Autumn 2017, these will be converted to living space for the SPEC missionaries.
The Modern wing houses the library, the Chapel, and the missionaries’ rooms, lounge, and patio. The chapel is where our community prays and is the most important room in our home. There are several pews and even more floor space. The altar in the chapel has a relic of St. Thomas Becket in it, and it’s at this altar that we celebrate Mass together as community every Tuesday.
The new residential building will be completed by Autumn 2017.
The Rotunda is currently being renovated and is expected to be completed by Autumn 2017. The Rotunda is where retreat groups will meet for their daily meals. The space can also be converted into a venue for activities and entertainment.