Youth led ministry, engaging spirituality and a variety of programmes for school years 6 – 13 and parish groups
Walsingham House was opened in 1981 by the then Diocesan Youth Chaplain, Fr Pat Sammon. He worked with Sr Margaret Soper, a Brentwood Ursuline sister, and together they began to welcome school and parish groups on retreat.
Originally Walsingham House was based in Chingford in a property owned by the Dominican order. At this time the Ursuline sisters made up a community which supported the smooth running of Walsingham House. By the late 1980s there was a team of lay young people working alongside the sisters on the retreats.
In 1995 Walsingham House moved location under the guidance of Sr Anne Spilberg. A suitable site was found in Canvey Island. The building which is owned by the Sisters of Mercy has generous grounds for outdoor activities and large and small group rooms as well as the essentials, including a chapel, dining room, kitchen, toilet and shower facilities and bedrooms to sleep up to thirty young people on residential retreats.
In October 2002, after more than 20 years involvement running Walsingham House the Sisters left the house in Canvey for different challenges. The Brentwood Catholic Youth Service Director has responsibility for the house supported by lay members of a staff and volunteer team.
In the 24 years that Walsingham House has been a retreat centre for young people it is estimated that nearly 90,000 young people have visited the house, as well as the hundreds who have volunteered and worked there.