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Pilgrimage & Retreat


Large groups come on pilgrimage from April to October to pray at the Shrine to seek God's blessing and to honour Our Lady. The Friars was always a traditional stop in medieval times and, in fact, the Pilgrims’ Hall, the oldest building at The Friars, is so named because it offered hospitality and accommodation for travellers to Canterbury. This custom of hospitality to Pilgrims continues today. Each year a program of pilgrimages is organised here at the Shrine of Our Lady. Members of the community at Aylesford priory are involved in working with many of the groups that come to The Friars during the course of the year. Some groups will ask for one of the friars to work alongside them. As well as this work, the community organises a number of retreats each year which are open to anyone who wishes to participate. 

Guests can make their own retreat, booking just their rooms and meals through the Reception. A special pilgrimage leaflet, obtainable from the Reception Office, OR online below gives details of the main pilgrimages throughout the summer which all are welcome to join. Anyone wishing to bring a group should contact the Pilgrimage Secretary via email 

Pilgrimages, Parish Days and All Night Vigils are also a regular feature of life at The Friars.


There is a programme of retreats arranged by the Carmelite Community, a leaflet giving details is available on request in the Reception Office. Individuals are also welcome to come to stay and join in the prayer life of The Friars. The community is willing to co-operate in days of recollection for groups who request them and to give help and guidance to schools organising either days of recollection or residential retreats. 

Download our Retreat Programme to find out about all of the upcoming dates in 2019

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