The Community of the Tree of Life


Refurbishment and remodelling of an existing 17th Century, Grade II Listed building in Leicester city centre to create accommodation and training facilities for Diocese students and employees

This former council building in Leicester city’s Cathedral Quarter has been sensitively converted into a combined Prayer and Residential New Monastic Community for the Diocese of Leicester.

  • Client:

    Diocese of Leicester

  • Architect:

    Corporate Architecture

  • Programme:

    25 weeks

As with many refurbishments of very old building there were many unexpected findings along the way, including discovering that floors and ceilings were made from straw.

The retreat, called The Community of the Tree of Life, includes 12 accommodation rooms for the novices, a chapel, refectory, cloister garden library and basement prayer space.

The new facility has welcomed its first group of young novices, aged 20-35, who will spend a minimum of 12 months immersed in aspects of Church life such as prayer, study and service – and helping people ranging from the homeless to children and young people.