Carmelite Monastery

Skelmersdale, Lancs, WN8 0QE
Webpage: Carmelite Nuns  

The Carmelite Community of Carcassonne left France in 1901, as so many Religious Communities were forced to do, and stayed temporarily in London. While there, they received a pressing invitation from Bishop, later Archbishop Whiteside to come up North, and they settled for a few years in Lancaster.

When that site was required for a new Town Hall, the Carmelites took Orrell Mount near Wigan, now a hotel close to the motorway, a lovely old property, on a ten year lease. When this expired, they decided to build the present Convent, as close to the College as permitted, for it had always been the Archbishop's desire that the Carmel should be the powerhouse of prayer for the Archdiocesan seminary.

The new Convent was completed in 1917 and the first Mass was said on August 15th 1917. So it was that in 1997, we celebrated our 80th Birthday, combining it with a Concelebrated Mass in Thanksgiving for the Doctorate of Saint Therese.

In 1927 the French Sisters returned to France, and it was arranged that the Notting Hill Carmel, London, would take over the responsibility for the Concent and for the English Sisters who remained behind. It was in a sense, it's "Second Foundation", and God blessed it with new vocations.

In 1936, the adjoining field which was Archdiocesan property was given the the Carmel. With the planning of a gifted Prioress, and hard work by herself and the sisters, with paths and drives being dug out by sterling local volunteers, the field was transformed into a garden, with vegetable and flower beds, orchards, lawns and shrubberies which are a joy to this day.

Views from the roof.

Views of the gardens.


The Chapel, open daily for Mass and prayer, is the focal point round which our monastic life of silent prayer, the Divine Office and work - both domestic and remunerative - revolves.

As it is a public Chapel, and open all day, visitors and passers by are often happy to call in for a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, and all are welcome to share in Carmel's apostolate of prayer which reaches beyond geographical frontiers to hold the Church and the whole world - peaceful, war-torn, suffering, distressed, joyful - in its embrace.


Sisters with Visitors.