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Home Page for Carmelite Convent Darlington


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Welcome to the Carmelite Convent in Darlington

This contemplative convent is situated in the north east of England. We belong to the Discalced Carmelite Order which was reformed in the sixteenth century by St Teresa of Jesus, also known as Teresa of Avila. We were founded in Lierre in 1648 for English girls who wished to enter religious life but could not do so at home due to the persecution of Catholics. When the French Revolution broke out the British monarchy ceased its state of persecution and the Catholics were invited to return to England. The Sisters came over in 1794 and lived in a number of places before finally settling in Darlington in 1830. The bell shown here is the original bell from the original convent in Lierre. It is now part of a private residence.

In 1972 the community from Wells in Somerset amalgamated with the Darlington community.

More details of our history are in the book on our booklist entitled: History of Darlington Carmel

For further information on the Order please see our link page Discaled Carmelites


The aim of our life is a life of prayer in which the Sisters spend most of their time in silence and solitude. The aim of the silence and solitude is to facilitate the possibility of getting away from distractions such as radio or TV and to be alone in a state of prayer with God. We have secluded places in the garden where we can be alone for prayer.

Time together

We meet together for:
Periods of prayer in the choral recitation of the Divine Office and two periods of silent prayer per day of an hour long each.

Meals are taken in a common refectory listening to reading on a spiritual subject.

We have two hours of recreation per day in which we are free to talk to other members of the community. The rest of the day only necessary talking is allowed and at night a total silence is imposed.

Foundations in South Africa

In 1931 the Darlington community founded the first Carmelite Monastery in South Africa just outside Johannesburg at Rivonia.

Rivonia in turn founded the Carmelite Monastery in Wynberg just outside Cape Town, South Africa in 1952.

In 1992 Darlington founded another community in South Africa just outside Mafikeng (which means the place of Stones) in the Cape Province.

In the early 1990's Rivonia Carmel sold their land outside Johannesburg and moved to Benoni, about an hour and a half's drive away, where they have built a new Carmel.

In 2000 the Monastery in Wynberg found a new property and moved there causing more than a little confusion as the place is called Retreat. It is now referred to as Retreat Carmel.

Due to various circumstances in South Africa and other places Father General decided that the Sisters in Mafikeng Carmel should disperse and the monastery has been given to the Sisters who were evicted from Pakistan because the authorities would not renew their visas. They arrived there at the end of 2003 and are having to adjust to their new situation. The Carmel is called Thapelong which is the Setswana word for place of prayer or where one prays.

Carmels in England, Scotland and Wales

There are at present 20 Carmelite Monasteries in this area. These Carmels are all independent Monasteries and they are all autonomous houses, which means they are responsible for raising the funds they need for the running of the monastery. They are not supported by the Order, but rather help to support monasteries in poorer countries by supporting seminarians in their priestly studies. monasteries which have met with natural disasters and new foundations.

There is one Monastery in Wales at:

Dolgellau founded from Notting Hill in 1929 and amalgamated with Bridell Carmel in 1976 and with Yardley Carmel in 1990

There are four Monasteries in Scotland at:

Dysart founded from Notting Hill in 1931

Dumbarton founded from Notting Hill in 1934

Falkirk founded from Notting Hill in 1931

Glasgow which is the amalgamation of Langside founded from Notting Hill in 1918 and Kirkintilloch founded from Langside in 1953. Both Langside and Kirkintilloch monasteries were suppressed and the new monastery of Glasgow was formed in 2006.

There are sixteen Monasteries in England at:

Darlington founded in Lierre, Belgium in 1648, moved to St Helen's Auckland in 1794, Cocken Hall Durham in 1804 and Darlington 1830. Amalgamated with Wells Carmel in 1972

York founded from Notting Hill in 1926 in Exmouth, moved to York in 1955

Woodhall founded from York in 1969

Preston founded from Notting Hill in 1917

Upholland founded from Carcassone, France 1901 and moved to Upholland in 1917 merged with the Notting Hill group in 1927

St Helens founded from Notting Hill in 1914 and amalgamated in 2001 with Lanherne (founded in 1619 at Hopland, Antwerp)

Liverpool founded in 1907 by Notting Hill

Birkenhead founded in 1918 from Notting Hill

Sheffield founded in 1911 from Notting Hill

Quidenham founded in Woodbridge in 1921, moved to Rushmere in 1938 and Quidenham in 1948. Amalgamated with Ashbourne Carmel in 1960 and Bramshott Carmel in 1968

Wolverhampton founded from Notting Hill in 1922

Ware founded in 1925 at Hatfield, moved to Hitchin in 1938 and Ware in 1958

Golders Green founded from Lyons in France at Fulham in 1865, moved to Isleworth while the Carmel was being built at Golders Green, moved to Golders Green in 1908. They are at present resident in Preston Carmel awaiting the completion of a newly built Carmelite Monastery where they will join the Liverpool Community.

Notting Hill founded from Rue d'Enfer, Paris in 1878

Sclerder founded from Quidenham in 1981 and amalgamated in 1994 with Chichester (founded in 1678 at Hoogstraet, Brabant)

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Home Page for Carmelite Convent Darlington |Work |Books available |Crafts available |Cards available |Cards for Any Occasions |Mass Cards for death and bereavement | |Rosaries and prayers |Mainly for Lent |St Therese |St Teresa of Jesus (Teresa of Avila) |Christmas |Feast Day Cards |Jubilee Cards |Mass Cards for the Living |Notelets: Friendship |Thank you cards: Floral |Thank you cards: Religious |Thank you cards |Notelets: Peace |Notelets: Light |Birthday Cards |Ordination to the Diaconate |Clothing Day |Profession Day |Ordination Cards |Ordination Anniversaries |Sympathy |Get Well |Wedding Day |Wedding Anniversary |New Baby and Baptism |First Holy Communion |Confirmation |St Patrick |Questions and answers |Saint John of the Cross |Notelets: Various |Notelets: Mary |Northern Notelets |THERESE MEMORIBILIA |Saint David |Medals and other religious items |Contact Information for Carmelite Convent |Links for Carmelite Convent |Guestbook |Mail Form