Guest and retreat accommodationThe Friary of St Francis
NE66 3NJ Tel: 01665 830213
Travel map (opens new window where you can select the house and directions)
Residential Guests (individuals and groups)
The Friary is a welcoming place to stay for time to pray, study, relax and be with God. Some guests come as organised groups, often with their own leader and occasionally with talks and guidance from a brother. Many others come as individuals or with one or two friends.
The Friary is open to guests through the year, apart from short closed periods, usually from Monday to Sunday (we are closed from Sunday lunchtime until Monday afternoon (generally after 4.00pm). Bookings for one night only are usually not accepted. The guest rooms are in the main part of the house with use of a pleasantly furnished common room and a spacious library, both with stunning sea views, and guests can also make use of the gardens, a large downstairs sitting room (front hall) and the main chapel and smaller Blessed Sacrament Chapel. Some rooms are occasionally booked for use by day groups.
Guests usually eat with the brothers in the refectory although it is possible for individuals wishing to remain in silence to have their meals separately. Meals for the whole household can be kept silent for a retreat group. Breakfast is self-service, buffet-style, and tea is usually served in the front hall before Evening Prayer, when local friends often attend. There is a small shop selling cards, booklets and religious goods.
Day Vistors (individual and groups)
Individual day visitors are able to use the communal rooms unless they are booked for a group, and the chapels and library are generally kept in silence. We can accommodate groups of up to about 30. The comfortable seating in the beautiful main chapel provides flexible accommodation during worship which is adjusted to suit the numbers present in the house.
Individual day visitors either bring their own lunch or arrange to join the brothers and other guests for the cooked main meal at lunchtime. We ask day groups to bring their own packed lunch, though cold drinks can be provided, as are tea, coffee and biscuits.
There is wheelchair access to the chapels and other ground floor rooms as well as the terraced garden. The other public rooms and guest bedrooms are accessible via a lift, and two of the bedrooms and a shower room and toilet are adapted for disabled use.
Saint Anthony’s Chalet
Separate arrangements exist for the booking and use of this largely self-contained accommodation which represents a recent development in our ministry at the friary and is intended for families or groups from particular situations of need.
Other things we can offer
There are occasional special events at the friary such as garden open days.
Brothers may be available to spend time with individuals by arrangement for spiritual direction, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, or just to give time to listening and conversation. Guests and visitors can also often join the brothers in practical work if they wish to do so, which can provide a wonderful opportunity for informal conversation, though brothers also have other commitments.
How to Book
Those hoping to stay as residential guests should address their enquiries to the Guest Brother.
The best way to contact us is by email: firstname.lastname@example.org which will reach the office computer. Emails are normally checked regularly during the day but at closed times e.g. after Christmas or after Easter emails may be checked less frequently. We do have an answering machine in the office which is usually checked once a day but we do not make telephone calls after the Greater Silence begins (9.00pm).
Receipt of a completed booking form and a non-returnable booking fee confirms the reservation.
The brothers take turns to cook alongside their other duties. We are limited in our ability to offer many alternative diets and do not keep specialist food items but we can provide vegetarian, vegan or medically necessary diets (e.g. dairy free) by arrangement. Guests are asked to make such needs clear when they book and we are not able to cater simply for personal preferences in the sharing of our family meals together. However, guests often comment favourably on the food served!
We welcome all people to the Friary and offer you our Franciscan hospitality. It is important to us that you come and share our life, whatever your circumstances. We do not charge for your visit but would be glad to accept any donation towards the cost of running the friary and its ministry. Our suggested donations can be found here. As a registered charity we are able to reclaim tax on these donations, from UK taxpayers who are willing to sign a Gift Aid declaration. Gift Aid information and forms are available from the Guest Brother or Bursar.
For information about how to get to us, click on the links below: