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SPEC moves to Pinner

SPEC, our diocesan youth retreat centre, has moved from All Saints Pastoral Centre in London Colney to its new home at Waxwell Farm, Pinner.

On Tuesday 25 March, the solemnity of the Annunciation, the life and work of SPEC at Waxwell Farm was inaugurated in a special Mass celebrated by Fr David Reilly together with the members of staff and volunteer missionaries who form the SPEC community.

The move from London Colney to Pinner has been a major logistical operation. It represents the final departure from All Saints which has served the diocese since the 1970s. The work of SPEC, including day retreats for young people, will now continue in their new home at Pinner and at Somers Town, during which provision will be made to begin residential retreats after a period of transition.

During the Mass, Fr David thanked those who had worked to make the move a reality, especially SPEC director Jon Rogers, and the members of the community who have been involved at each step along the way.

For many years, the grounds at Pinner have been hallowed by prayer and work. Part of the land at Waxwell Farm was once owned by Archbishop Thomas Beckett, whose relic is interred in the chapel’s altar.

Waxwell Farm was most recently the home of the Grail community. During the Mass, the young people of SPEC gave thanks to God for the legacy that the ladies of the Grail left behind at Pinner, including the world-famous translation of the psalms that we use in the liturgy at Mass and in the Divine Office.

The diocese is now delighted that the work of the Gospel can continue in this special place which is held in great affection by many people both locally and further afield.

For more information regarding retreats at SPEC, or if you are interested in taking part in a year at SPEC as volunteer missionary, please contact