ST. KATHARINE'S, PARMOOR
This historic house stands in 12 acres of grounds in an area of great scenic beauty and abundant wildlife. The rural tranquillity of the Chilterns, combined with a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere, make St. Katharine's an ideal destination for groups and individuals, for both residential or day visits.
The house is run by the Sue Ryder Prayer Fellowship, an independent registered charity whose aim is to provide a facility that is ecumenical and non-denominational. The house is open to people of all faiths or of none.
When the house was given to Lady Ryder of Warsaw by the nuns of the Anglican order of St. Katharine of Alexandria, she determined to make it a ‘powerhouse of prayer', a place where people from all walks of life could come to find peace and renewed energy to face the challenges of life.
Your first contact with St. Katharine's will probably be Bethan who is the Warden. She very efficiently heads a small team of staff and volunteers who keep the house running. Her second-in-command is Ania, the Head Housekeeper and Deputy Warden, who as well as making sure that everything in the house is spick and span also acts as Front-of-House in Bethan's absence. Ania's team keep the house clean and also assist the kitchen and serve meals. The kitchen is in the capable hands of Jo, our Head Cook. She and her assistant are responsible for all the delicious food you will enjoy when you are at St. Katharine's. You may also meet Will who is in charge of grounds and Adam our Maintenance Manager. Their team take care of the garden, sort out maintenance problems, do the decorating and you may even encounter them serving your meal - they are great multi-taskers! You may also come across Phil who, among other things, looks after the finance, mends broken furniture, gives talks on the history of the house and built this website - she is another multi-tasker.
On entering the house, visitors find themselves in the panelled Entrance Hall - with its antique furniture, grand piano and stained glass windows, it is ideal for receiving large groups. In winter guests are greeted by the sight of a blazing log fire.
Two sitting rooms offer a pleasant ambience for seminars or relaxation, and the secluded double roomed library provides further meeting space for small groups.
The Main Hall, seating up to 120, is a consecrated Chapel and may be used for worship. This room can also be used for large meetings, lectures or as a dining room for large numbers.
Delicious food, catering for all dietary and ethnic requirements, is prepared by our professional catering staff. The panelled Dining Room seats up to 60 people, but larger numbers can be accommodated in the Main Hall.
Visitors are free to stroll around the grounds, or find a quiet corner to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. There are a number of interesting features, including a walled garden, an orchard, a pond (with ducks), a formal garden which a group of volunteers is developing as a sensory garden and a former sunken garden which awaits restoration.
Up to 24 can be accommodated in St. Katharine's and a further 12 in St. Joseph's, an annexe situated adjacent to the main house. There are a mixture of twin and single rooms, many with full or partial en-suite facilities. Extra beds can also be provided for family rooms.
THE HISTORY OF PARMOOR
The history of Parmoor spans back to the Fourteenth Century, when the property was apparently owned by the Knights Templar, and the magnificent cedar tree which surveys Parmoor's grounds was reputedly grown from a seed collected from the Lebanon during the Crusades.
In more recent times the house was the birthplace of Sir Stafford Cripps, the post-war Chancellor of the Exchequer, and during the Second World War the house was occupied by King Zog of Albania.
The Community of St. Katharine of Alexandria moved to Parmoor in 1947, after being bombed out of their former residence in Fulham.
The Sue Ryder Prayer Fellowship now owns the house and runs it as a non-profit making facility for both the local community and for those from further afield.
For more of the history of the house, see the HISTORY page.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +44 (0)1494 881037
Sue Ryder Prayer Fellowship (Parmoor) Ltd. Company Reg. No. 7320054
St. Katharine's, Parmoor, Frieth, Henley-on-Thames, RG96NN
Charity Reg. No. 1140727