A Word From the Executive Director
It is with pleasure we announce our new newsletter, THE CANTERBURY EPISTLE, which will be sent out quarterly. The Canterbury Epistle will keep you informed of the various activities, events, and special offers at Canterbury Retreat & Conference Center.
Canterbury has been a part of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida for nearly 40 years, and while parishioners of the diocese may have heard the name, they generally assume that Canterbury is reserved only for clergy or church groups. What most don’t realize, is that Canterbury is open to the public as well. Whether a corporate conference, a personal retreat, a wedding or a trip with family and friends to the world-famous Orlando attractions, Canterbury is the place to stay. Nestled on 48 beautiful wooded acres with Lake Gem as its centerpiece, Canterbury is a tranquil place where you will be able to take a deep breath and forget the busy world, making your visit memorable. Offering 45 “modest” guest rooms each with its own bathroom, you’ll have all the comforts of home, intentionally without the distractions from television or telephones. Canterbury has five meeting rooms of different sizes (boardroom to banquet hall), each equipped with Wi-Fi and audio/visual equipment to meet your needs.
For more information please visit our website or call our reservations department at: 407-365-5571. We look forward to serving you at Canterbury.
With Canterbury’s “Summer Deals”, there has never been a better time to book your stay.
- Canterbury offers “Summer Deals” for everyone. Who said Less is More? At Canterbury, more time means more savings. Receive 15% off 3 nights, 20% off a minimum of 5 nights, and 25% off 7 nights or more. Get more for less – that’s how we do it at Canterbury!
- As a thank you to all members of the clergy*, receive 25% off, plus daily breakfast for two per reservation!
- As a thank you to the men and women that educate our future generations, Canterbury is pleased to also offer a “Teacher Appreciation” special of 15% off accommodations.
All reservations are subject to availability, some restriction may apply.*Clergy from the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida receive 25% off the already low diocesan rate.
While staying at Canterbury, you’ll enjoy delicious meals at the “Overlook”, our dining room with an outside deck overlooking beautiful Lake Gem. All meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner are served buffet style.
- Salad bar
- Selection of sides
- Dinner rolls
- Choice of beverage
Entrée selections may be:
- Chicken Marsala
- Chicken Piccata
- Pork Loin
- Sliced Sirloin
- Baked Ham
- Flank Steak
- Baked Ziti
- Pasta bar
- And More
All is a buzz at Canterbury. After nearly 40 years, we are making renovations, including additional overnight parking closer to the guest rooms. At the Bishop Folwell Center, you will find a new larger lobby. Changes in St. Paul’s conference room will include a new sound proof wall separating it from the dining room. The dining room now known as “The Overlook on Lake Gem” is also going through a transformation, including the dining deck. You’ll find comfortable lounge furniture on the back patio where, while looking out on beautiful lake Gem, you can sip a latte or cappuccino from the Palette Coffee Brewery, located just inside the lounge. Many of the guest rooms are having work done as well. New flooring, furniture, paint, and a new hot water system just to name a few.
Holidays at Canterbury
Holidays are a “special” time at Canterbury for family and friends to gather and enjoy being taken care of by our friendly staff. Enjoy sumptuous holiday fare and No cooking for Mom. There is a “plethora” of activities both in the day and evening for children and adults. So, join the fun and book your holiday adventure now. Book your reservations 4 months prior to your visit and receive a 20% discount.
Celebrate Thanksgiving with no worries about cooking, cleaning or planning activities for a crowd. At Canterbury all are welcome to come celebrate and give thanks to God for our many blessings. Activities throughout the week are offered for all ages. Thanksgiving morning there will be the annual “Turkey Trot” around Lake Gem. The highlight of course is the Thanksgiving Day Eucharist, followed by a feast of turkey with all the trimmings. Watch the Thanksgiving Day Football games in the Lounge or take that “after feast nap” before the evening’s activities. In the mornings, participate in the ropes course, catch a big mouth bass or canoe on Lake Gem. In the afternoon a traditional afternoon English tea will be served and perhaps a guest volleyball tournament. After dinner enjoy a musical presentation in the lounge or perhaps Bingo or a movie. On Saturday night it’s football in the Lounge, followed by S’mores around the fire pit.
Church services are all held in St. Augustine’s Chapel, which is shared with the congregation of the Church of the Incarnation who are an integral part of the Canterbury Community.
Thursday: 10:15 a.m. Rite II – Thanksgiving DaySunday: 10:15 a.m. Rite II – Advent IVespers: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 7:00 p.m.
Come celebrate Christmas at Canterbury and let us handle all the holiday preparations, giving you the time to enjoy a festive and meaningful Christmas. Canterbury welcomes everyone to enjoy a festive and holy Christmas holiday. The days are packed with activities and a chance to renew and enjoy a special time with family and friends. There will be an opportunity to participate in various activities from Christmas crafts to evening entertainment. Youth programs are offered, allowing parents time to complete last-minute shopping.
Decorate a Christmas tree • Create your own gingerbread house • Make Christmas ornaments • Enjoy time with family and friends, without the “cooking and cleaning” •
A Christmas tradition at Canterbury for those that wish to participate, is to bring an unwrapped gift of clothes, toys, or books to be delivered Christmas Eve afternoon to less fortunate families living in the area. Church services are all held in St. Augustine’s Chapel, which is shared with the congregation of the Church of the Incarnation who are an integral part of the Canterbury Community. Lessons & Carols: Monday, 7:30 p.m.Christmas Eve Eucharist: Tuesday 10:00 p.m. Rite II Christmas Day: Wednesday 10:15 a.m. Rite II
Easter is the highest and holiest celebration of the church year, as we commemorate the resurrection of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Services will be held overlooking beautiful Lake Gem, joining the congregation of the Church of the Incarnation. Together we will raise our voices in prayer and song amid God’s beautiful creation. (In case of rain, the services will be held in St. Augustine’s Chapel, followed by Easter Brunch & Easter Egg Hunt. At Canterbury all guests and the local community enjoy a delicious Easter Brunch from 10:00 AM until 3:00PM. Following brunch, an Easter Egg Hunt will be held for all who attend. Children and adults are invited to take part in the fun. Please note: Pre-registration is required for the Easter Brunch.
Stations of the Cross Nature Walk: We are offering our guests a twist on the classic Stations of the Cross devotion which will be led by the Reverend Tom Phillips. Each of the 14 stations will be depicted along the trail that starts at St. Augustine’s Chapel. The walk is easy, but some may find some mobility limitations. Church services are all held in St. Augustine’s Chapel, which is shared with the congregation of the Church of the Incarnation who are an integral part of the Canterbury Community
About Our Chaplain
The Reverend Tom Phillips serves as Canterbury’s chaplain, but he is also Priest-in-Charge of the Church of the Incarnation which meets in St. Augustine’s Chapel on the shore of Lake Gem. Father Tom is not only warm and friendly, but a high-energy biblical scholar who is passionate about Scripture. A life-long Episcopalian whose father and grandfather were also Episcopal Priests, Tom’s goal is to bring his passion for scripture into the pulpit, to know God’s word, experience God’s presence, and share it with others.