Thicket Priory - Our Life of Prayer

At Thicket Priory, prayer is the heart of our life as Carmelite nuns, as set out in the Rule of Saint Albert which all Carmelites follow. Each day Mass is celebrated in our community chapel.


The chapel in our monastery.

We also gather together at the appointed times for the Prayer of the Church (the Divine Office).

Sisters at prayer (in our old monastery chapel).

As Carmelite nuns we also spend two hours every day in silent personal prayer. Even outside of these set times for prayer our lives are spent mostly in silence and solitude, to enable our prayerful spirit to continue.


A sister praying in her room or 'cell'.

Our work is arranged so that, as far as possible, each sister can work alone, to be more consciously in the company of Christ.

In silence our hearts can listen to God who speaks at a level deeper than words we can hear with our ears.

Silent meditation is part of our prayer, as well as vocal and liturgical prayer.

Our prayer is at the service of the Church and the World. We have close links with the local Church, particularly through the priests of York and the region who celebrate Mass here.

Brothers and Sisters in Carmel: Carmelite friars visiting us at Thicket.


We have close Carmelite Family bonds with York's Corpus Christi Carmelite Sistersthe community of Carmelite friars in Heslington, and the city's Carmelite Spirituality Group.

We share in the life of the local villages of Thorganby and Wheldrake (our monastery lies between the two) through contact with the people who come to Mass here on Sundays and during the week.

The public are welcome to come and worship in our chapel.

We are also involved in an ecumenical way with the local villages, especially through our annual celebrations of an Advent Carol Service, and hosting part of the Good Friday Walk of Witness.


Our carol service takes place by candle-light.

The annual carol service brings hundreds of visitors to our chapel.


The local Anglican communities are regular visitors and sometimes use our chapel for worship, as do York Quiet Day Group. The bell which rings at times of community prayer was donated to us for our new monastery building by the Anglican Church in Wheldrake in 2009.


Carmelites and villagers celebrating the blessing and naming of our new bell "Joseph".

Reverend Mother Mary of Carmel with "Joseph" the monastery bell.

Although we live a life of enclosure (remaining within the monastery grounds), we occasionally leave the monastery for special reasons. In 2007 we attended the celebrations to mark the 8th Centenary of the Carmelite Rule which was held in York Minster.  In October 2009 we were also present in the Minster for the visit of the relics of our sister in Carmel, St. Thérèse of Lisieux.

Sisters from Thicket in York Minster in 2007

We attended the Carmelite Rule celebrations in York Minster in 2007.


We joined with other members of the Carmelite Family at York Minster
during the visit of the relics of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux on 1st October 2009.
Everyone is welcome to join us for times of public prayer in the chapel. On Sundays Mass is celebrated at 9.30am (9am from 1st October 2017). Mass times during the week can vary, and should be confirmed with us at the monastery.