The Hermitage, Stroud
The Hermitage of St Bernardine of Sienna
Welcome to the Hermitage
We are a group of Anglican Franciscan brothers belonging to the world wide Society of Saint Francis. The Hermitage is primarily a house of prayer and hospitality. We welcome people looking for quiet time and retreat for up to one week; a time out to seek God or a spiritual search. Sometimes people come for a rest or time to review their life or to make a decision.
The Hermitage is surrounded by 20 acres of bush amid rolling hills with much birdsong and the occasional. The Hermitage is 3 Km outside of Stroud, which is 80 Km north of Newcastle, NSW. The Chapel life has a regular pattern of daily services and Eucharist to which guests are welcome, but not obliged to come. A library is also available. The guest house has 4 single rooms with shared facilities; guests and Brothers dine together.
The Brothers are available to talk with guests and can offer spiritual direction. People’s understanding of the word ‘retreat’ varies of course but it usually includes time for reflection and reading, time to sit or walk, study or write, and join the Brothers for worship.
We do not have fixed charges but ask for a donation depending on people’s circumstances. We estimate that an average of $65 per guest per night enables us to cover costs.
Society of Saint Francis in Australia/New Zealand
The Society of Saint Francis was founded with diverse origins. A number of Franciscan groups came together during the 1930’s to found one Franciscan Society. SSF in its widest scope includes First Order Brothers (SSF), First Order Sisters (CSF), Second Order Sisters (OSC), and a Third Order (TSSF). The First Order shares a common life of prayer, fraternity and a commitment to the poor.
SSF friars went from England to Papua New Guinea in the late 1950s and the first Australian house was established in 1964; the first New Zealand house followed in 1970. In 1981, the Pacific Province was divided into two: Australia/New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
In 2002 the ANZ Province stated its vision as: That God calls us to be a community who strive to be Lesser Brothers of great diversity. Committed to God and to each other through prayer, education and ministry. Witnessing in many ways to the Gospel of Christ and the vision of Saint Francis. We aim to be agents of transformation both for each other and for the wider society through our ministries and simplicity of lifestyle.
How to find us:
Please phone us as we may be away from the Hermitage; we would like to be here for you.
DRIVING. Drive north on the Pacific Highway through Hexham (The Hunter River) and from Raymond Terrace by-pass 19km on the left is Bucketts Way (tourist road to Stroud, Gloucester and Taree). From intersection of Pacific Hwy and Bucketts Way drive 31Km to Stroud, passing through Booral. Drive through Stroud heading north, 2 Km from Post Office, past the Country Club/Golf course on right next to golf course, Saint Clares Rd a dirt road, (see our sign) turn right into this and follow it up to the Hermitage & Monastery.
TRAIN. There is a NSW State Rail Bus from Broadmeadow train station at 6.00 pm to Stroud and returns from Stroud to Broadmeadow depart 8.00 am Monday to Friday. Or train to Dungog via CityRail or Country Link, prior arrangement with Brothers to pick-up (26km from the Hermitage)
AIR. Newcastle Airport (65 Km from Hermitage) prior arrangement with Brothers to meet you.
PO Box 46
Stroud, NSW 2425