The SPEC Retreat Centre is closed to visitors

In line with government advice in relation to minimizing the risk of Coronavirus contamination, we have taken the decision to close the SPEC Retreat Centre to visitors until further notice.

The coronavirus situation has developed rather rapidly and all activities involving social interactions at Westminster Youth Ministry, including retreats at the SPEC Retreat Centre, have been cancelled until further notice.

This is in line with government advice in relation to minimizing the risk of Coronavirus contamination and the introduction of social distancing across schools and parishes in the Archdiocese of Westminster. We will review the situation over the coming weeks, based on the guidance provided by the government, and hope to resume our activities as soon as this will be possible.

Although we need to close the volunteering programme at the SPEC Retreat Centre for this academic year, a small community of retreat leaders and volunteers who were unable to return to their countries remain living at the centre and offer online support and activities for young people across the diocese and beyond. Please browse our website and follow us on social media if you would like to participate.

In the Catholic Church, we are in the period of Lent and traditionally many decide to follow some Lenten observance such as prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Facing isolation and the reality of not going out or interacting socially with others can be challenging but it is also an opportunity during this Lent to do something that we were never able to do before.

For a start we can have more time for prayer, fasting may come easier this year and we can help to care for the most vulnerable in the community during this virus outbreak. Following the commandment of love, we can support and take care of each other spiritually, mentally and where possible physically.

The choice is ours.

Andrzej Wdowiak