Who would have known…

Following our previous update, who would have known the journey we would still be traveling, individually as well as nationally!

We’ve just heard of the plans for post 19th July and what that means to each of us. We have been so thrilled to be able to welcome small groups and individuals again over these last weeks and we see the 19th as a point where we can open the front doors even wider and welcome many of you back – or if you haven’t been before, for the first of many times.

It has been an interesting and challenging time for the House over this last year and I have touched on that in previous updates, but we haven’t been doing nothing. We have been able to keep the grounds looking splendid as well as organise some events for the remainder of the year. You will find more details of each of these by clicking on the links below.

If we can highlight at this point that we are currently looking to employ an Assistant Cook and we would really appreciate you making the attached advert available to friends/colleagues. It may be that, following this last year or so, someone is looking for a change in life-style/direction and this may be of interest to them. ‘Living in’ is an option. They do need to be able to cook!!

So…what do we have planned?

Sunday 15th August – something a little different…

The Magic Flute brought to us by Opera Anywhere. Tickets £30 only from Ticketsource.co.uk

An outdoor performance – bring your own chairs, blankets, waterproofs etc!

Marrying Mozart’s beautiful music with a witty script, this production of The Magic Flute celebrates the birth of teen culture in this timeless coming-of-age story delving into the other-worldliness which glamourous Hollywood brought to post blitz London.

 

Saturday 4th September – St Katharine’s Open Day – come and see what we offer and browse the various art & craft stalls gathered. Marlow Town Band will bring a short programme of familiar music. Take the opportunity to visit the Lady Ryder Memorial Garden – our very own walled garden. Make a day of it – bring a picnic/chairs/blankets and enjoy our beautiful grounds.

 

Saturday 20th November Advent Quiet Day with Revd Rob Pestell. An opportunity of space for quiet and reflection in preparation for the journey through the season of Advent.

 

Saturday 26th to Sunday 28th November Advent Retreat with The Revd Dr Malcolm Guite. In the course of this retreat Malcolm will reflect on seven wonderful prayers approaching each one through the medium of a sonnet…

 

Saturday 4th December Christmas Sing Day – Open to all who enjoy celebrating Christmas in song. If you play a musical instrument, please let us know and bring it with you.

Through December we will also be offering the opportunity for you to enjoy a wonderful Parmoor Christmas Lunch in our Entrance Hall with a real Christmas tree and roaring log-fire. More details in due course.

Can we take this opportunity to remind you that we are also here for;

  • Self-led Quiet Days/Retreats for individuals/groups or parishes (up to 36 people can be accommodated residentially).
  • Day events/meetings (up to 80 people can be catered for).
  • Afternoon Teas, Birthday/Anniversary Lunches for those in the local area.

If you’d like more information around any of these, please contact us – office@srpf.org.uk or Tel: 01494 881037

We trust and pray that you are well and look forward to either hearing from you, or being able to welcome you in the coming weeks and months.

Stewart McCredie – Director

Holy Week Quiet Days – with a difference

Following on from our successful Lent Reflections Quiet Day on Ash Wednesday, we have arranged opportunities for some quiet time through Holy Week. Obviously, we can’t hold the Quiet Days we intended but we will have these online – a little like we did for our Lent Reflections that so many people accessed and found helpful.

Can we encourage you to follow this link – Holy Week Quiet Days (with a difference) – for a little more detail.

These aren’t Quiet Days in the traditional sense. We recognise that so many people are a little ‘Zoomed out’ so we have formatted each day around a 3-hour Quiet Time – and these will be held 3 times each day, hoping that amongst your day you will be able to join with one of them. The timings for each day are the same and we would suggest logging in just a few minutes before the particular sessions you wish to be a part of (the link will be open 15 minutes beforehand) – there is no requirement to ‘register or book in’.

The first Quiet Time will start at 9:30am. This will then be re-run at 1:30pm and then again at 6:30pm.

Please can we encourage you to make an intentional decision to take just 3 hours out each day with us.

 

Monday 29th – Lauren Talbot – Worship Leader – Christ Church Feltham

Zoom link – https://zoom.us/j/93859619500?pwd=T2oxaHd0ZTJEbFZXZGxaRi9BeTdkUT09

Meeting ID: 938 5961 9500

Passcode: 470810

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Tuesday 30th – Revd Sue Lepp – Hambleden Valley Churches

Zoom link – https://zoom.us/j/92917706118?pwd=ZVY1TDVUdWg0RUtkK3ZUYWlsOFJ2Zz09

Meeting ID: 929 1770 6118

Passcode: 188029

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Wednesday 31st – Ven Guy Elsmore – Archdeacon of Buckingham

Zoom link – https://zoom.us/j/93781667356?pwd=ei9ZL1YycENtcHBYclZPSHRFeDBkdz09

Meeting ID: 937 8166 7356

Passcode: 439885

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Thursday 1st – A time to relax – ‘virtually’ in the stillness of St Katharine’s, Parmoor

Zoom link – https://zoom.us/j/97424551284?pwd=VU00Rmw0c284OTd1bEZLK0pFdWhRdz09

Meeting ID: 974 2455 1284

Passcode: 164714

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The Zoom links above will allow you to join with us on each day and is the same link for each days’ session. Your microphone will be muted and we ask that this stays so whilst you are online with us.

Again, we aren’t charging for these events but would ask for a donation of £10 if you are able. Our bank details are on each event page following the above links.

We look forward to being with you and should you have any questions or queries in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in contact via office@srpf.org.uk

Have a wonderful Holy Week and Easter weekend and we look forward to being able to welcome you again through the doors here – hopefully from May the 17th!

The ‘Road-Map’ Forward

As we start to see the relaxing of restrictions in the coming weeks, we should be encouraged that we will soon be able to enjoy the ‘new reality’ that awaits us. One where we can start to gather again and enjoy being around other people. I’m not sure that things will ever be quite the same as before, but maybe that might not be such a bad thing in some situations.

Needless to say, we can’t wait to be able to open our doors again to welcome people into the beautiful and peaceful surroundings of St Katharine’s, Parmoor. So when might that be?

  • Steps 1 and 2 of the road-map don’t have any effect on us as far as being able to re-open.
  • Step 3 advises that on the 17th May, we are able to re-open for individuals and groups of up to 6 people. That is both for residential stays and day events. We hope to be able to offer our Afternoon Teas again and will post further about this nearer the time.
  • Step 4 suggests that there will no longer be any legal limits around social contact – although there is no guidance as to what might be in place in the short term. We are of course monitoring this and will make decisions based on the most recent information available.

House Retreats and Quiet Days.

What a wonderful day we had on the 17th February with our Lent Reflections (available to view via the Reflections tab at the top of this screen) . We were greatly encouraged by the number of people who joined us online and are also grateful for the feedback received. We had nearly 3 times as many people on line as we would have had in person. We are truly thankful for this.

Following on from this, we have organised 4 Quiet Days (with a difference) for Holy Week – which will all be online – offering the opportunity to take some time out to think around the story of Easter. The difference with these are that they are not full days, but 3hrs out of what is for many still a busy time. (They will play 3 times through each day). Like our Lent Reflections, this offers the opportunity to more people to take some time out. For more details on these and other events through the rest of 2021, pop over to our Events Page.

We are of course, still available for individuals and groups to book their own time here for self led retreats and days. Please contact the office for availability/prices etc. We are greatly encouraged by the number of bookings we have for the 2nd half of this year so please don’t hesitate and get in contact with us.

We pray that you keep safe and in particular, well and we look forward to hearing from many of you in the coming weeks.

Lent Reflections

On Ash Wednesday, we ran a ‘virtual’ Quiet Day. We asked 8 people to video short thoughts/reflections around Lent. These were played via YouTube and Zoom. Each one was followed by a time of quiet, allowing the opportunity to ‘ponder and pray’ through the thoughts brought in the video.

We have posted links to these videos below and would encourage you to visit one of these each day through Lent giving yourself time afterwards to think and pray through what you have heard.

Revd Sue Lepp – https://youtu.be/jXa2ejE5wqA

Anthea Wratten – https://youtu.be/5shneTgFZ2Y

Revd Sam Brewster – https://youtu.be/KxWZMwkFQVU

Revd Graham Watts – https://youtu.be/YkxYNIBr550

Revd Canon Rosie Harper – https://youtu.be/CSaRIjgMGyg

Revd Dave Bull – https://youtu.be/tD3QRQ2Lv_g

Lauren Talbot – https://youtu.be/iV3AnjS_W98

Al Bullen – https://youtu.be/NvhyHf-nN4E

Final Benediction – Jonathan Veira singing Go Peaceful (written by Paul Field) https://youtu.be/16n-y2zlJYk

Everlasting Hope in 2021

Everlasting Hope as we move into 2021

What a year 2020 was! A year none of us could have possibly anticipated what we would experience. Our prayer is that you have kept well throughout this time. We know that not many have escaped the effects of Covid-19 in one way or another and that so many have been and remain unwell as a result, lost loved ones, jobs, income – the list goes on…

The vaccines that are now available are giving hope to so many as the programme is rolled out with many of the most vulnerable having already been offered theirs.

Of course, we know of the Everlasting Hope that there is in Jesus – and we look to Him, particularly at this time and by His grace we will get through these tough days.

We are now over half way through January – and many will be wondering what the rest of this year holds?

There is light at the end of the tunnel with the vaccine programme and we can start to plan ahead – something that was so so difficult to do last year.

What we have to offer at St Katharine’s, Parmoor

For those that don’t know where we are, we are situated between Marlow, Henley on Thames and High Wycombe being easily accessible from both the M4 and M40.

  • We currently have 22 bedrooms (accommodating up to 36 people) split between the main house and St Joseph’s annexe. The majority of rooms in the main house are en-suite – St Joseph’s are shared facilities.
  • Individuals as well as groups (parish, cell, friendship, leadership teams, etc) are all welcome. Whether for a day, overnight or longer.
  • We have various meeting spaces, the largest being the Chapel which can accommodate around 80 people.
  • We are able to cater/feed up to 80 people – the majority of the produce we use is grown in our very own Lady Ryder Memorial Garden – a 1 acre walled garden on site.
  • We are in the process of putting together a programme of events for the rest of 2021 and these Retreats and Quiet Days will be shown on our website in due course. We are hoping to be able to hold the first of these in Holy Week – subject to relevant guidance applicable at the time.
  • We also have access to 3 bursary schemes which might be able to assist with the cost of a retreat for individuals (conditions apply).

Please visit our website for more information or invite me to come* and ‘present’ to any group you think appropriate and talk through what we offer and the benefits of retreats/time-out. My fee is only a couple of mugs of tea/coffee and biscuits (preferably chocolate).
*once restrictions allow

Can we ask you to consider the following:

  • making contact with us to find out a little bit more;
  • taking some time out on personal retreat – whether for just a few hours, a day or more;
  • forward this email on to any colleague(s) who may be thinking of a retreat;
  • pray for us in these challenging days.

It’s Been A While…

The doors to St Katharine’s Parmoor opened again in early August and since then we have been able to welcome individuals and ‘bubbles’ to the lovely surroundings of Parmoor.

Lots of work has gone into making the House safe and secure, in line with COVID guidelines, and we are confident that we have done what is required to keep you safe while visiting here.

Day and overnight retreats are possible, as well as some day group events. Please contact the office for more details.

We are delighted to let you know about two bursary schemes that have been made available. They both recognise the incredible effort that so many in the medical and care professions have made, particularly in these last few months.

There is also some further detail about some events through the rest of 2020.

For more information about all of the following please contact Lucy or myself (Stewart) in the office

NHS Bursary

Made available by the Association for Promoting Retreats – This bursary is for any NHS/Care-worker staff to receive 50% (up to a max of £150) off the cost of a day or retreat at any APR member house.

Sue Ryder Bursary

Made available by the Lady Ryder of Warsaw Memorial Trust – Available for staff from any Sue Ryder facility to have some time at St Katharine’s, Parmoor – to rest, relax, reflect and refresh.

 

We also have two Quiet Days through November

Rest for the Weary – November 7 @ 9:15 am – 4:00 pm

A day to stop – to rest – to relax – to explore different rhythms of living your life.

There will be space for personal reflections and prayers as well as times together using creative media.

This day is led in the Christian tradition but is open to anyone of faith or no faith.

Anthea Wratten – along with her husband Paul, leads River Church Marlow. Anthea is also a therapist working in private practice and as such brings a lovely blend of spiritual and psychological insights into our daily lives.

Cost: £35 to include lunch and refreshments

If you follow the Star – November 21 @ 9:15 am – 4:00 pm

An opportunity of space for quiet and reflection in preparation for the journey through the season of Advent. An offering of various resources to enter into the mystery and wonder of the coming of the Christchild.

The Revd Robert Pestell (Vice-chair to the Trustees of the Sue Ryder Prayer Fellowship and Chaplain at the Sue Ryder, Leckhampton Court Hospice ) – recently celebrated 25 years as an Anglican Priest having been a parish priest for most of that time. For the last 6 years he has been Chaplain at Leckhampton Court.

Cost: £35 to include lunch and refreshments

 

As the cold winter months descend on us, we are offering two options of meeting with up to 5 of your family or friends.

Afternoon Teas – (£18 per person) running throughout November

We are taking bookings, for groups of up to 6 people, for Afternoon Teas. Can we encourage you to come along and enjoy one of St Katharine’s delightful Teas.

If the weather is suitable, it might be possible to have a wander around The Lady Memorial Walled Garden.

Christmas Lunches/Dinners (£30 per person) from the 1st to 23rd December

As we come to the end of a rather strange, and for many, extremely challenging year, can we encourage you to book a delightful Christmas Lunch/Dinner for yourself and up to five friends.

A large proportion of the produce used will have been grown in our very own Lady Ryder Memorial Garden.

 

As mentioned previously, we are confident that the actions taken here are such that anyone visiting St Katharine’s, Parmoor will feel safe and secure in the beautiful surroundings. This link will take you to our ‘Be Safe, Be Well‘ document that outlines the steps we have taken and what we ask of anyone visiting/staying here.

We wish you well in these difficult days and pray that you keep well. Whatever the future has in store, never let go of hope.

Are We nearly There Yet? Yes we are…

The above phrase is one that many of us will have heard from the back-seat of the car on long journeys!! The eagerness and anticipation of getting to a destination but the need for patience and enjoying the moment! Then when nearly there, heavy traffic, roadworks and diversions slow things down or divert a different route. We certainly appear to be a long way into our journey but despite the eagerness and anticipation, we do need to be patient.

However, we are really pleased to be able to announce that we will start to open our doors once again. From the 1st August we will be in a position to consider taking individuals, or people from the same household or pre-existing ‘support/social bubble’.

We are doing everything we can to ensure that during your visit to St Katharine’s Parmoor you are safe, secure and protected. Please follow this link to see our Be Safe Be Well guidance. If you have any questions about being safe and well during your stay at St Katharine’s please get in touch and we will gladly help.

Prior to the lock-down, we had managed to build a good momentum with regards to the life of the House and spreading the word about what we have to offer alongside our Programme of Events. This hit a brick wall on the 24th March.

Can we now ask and encourage you to ‘spread the word’ again of what St Katharine’s, Parmoor has to offer.

This has been a tough period for the house and changes have had to be made but we are here, ready to go and we look forward to welcoming many of you across the doorstep again in the near future.

We have a programme of Quiet Days and Retreats for the rest of the year and would encourage you to consider booking on to one or some of these. Further details are available on our Events page on this website.

One event not previously detailed is a 48 hour Christmas Retreat. It will run from the 24th to the 26th December. It is not a traditional silent retreat but nor is it a house party. There will be some time for reflection but also singing round the Christmas tree amongst other activities. This is mainly, but not exclusively, for those who might spend Christmas on their own or away from extended family. Further details will be available in September.

We continue to wish you well and that you keep safe in these changing days. For any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

With very best wishes
Stewart McCredie – Director

2020 Programme of Retreats and Quiet Days

We have been working hard behind the scenes putting together a programme of retreats and quiet days for 2020.

At my previous house, and indeed many retreat houses across the country, these are wonderfully uplifting events. We have attempted to get a good variety of topics for this first year. we pray that there is something there for everyone.

If you follow this link, 2020 Retreats and Quiet Days, you will find a list of all our events for this year.

As we finalise titles and finer detail we are releasing this information now so that people are able to consider what they might like to ‘sign up’ for. Please click here to open our 2020 Programme Booklet.

  • Quiet Days will cost £35 to also include lunch. Arrival is from 9:30am for a 10:00am start. The days will end around 3:30/4:00 with Tea/Coffee and cake.
  • Retreats will cost £185 on the basis of an ensuite room and all meals. Retreats will generally begin with Supper at 6:30 on the first evening finishing after lunch on the final day.

Booking forms and further information can be obtained by contacting the office.

This programme does not prevent parishes, staff teams, individuals etc from booking retreats and quiet days as previously.

Christmas Lunch at St Katharine’s

Through December 2019, we served 111 of our delightful Christmas Dinners. Mary & Julie put together a lovely menu, making use of a lot of produce that was grown in our very own Lady Ryder Memorial Garden.

We are so please to have received so much complimentary feedback and are already looking forward to being able to host groups in December 2020.

Please do bear us in mind next year. Lucy will be able to provide further details later in 2020.

As a ‘taster’ for anyone wondering what the menu choices might be for next year, the 2019 menu can be found by clicking on this link – 2019 Christmas Menu

Supper Talks

We try and hold 3 or 4 talks a year. We had 3 very successful and interesting evenings in 2019. We are currently looking at dates and speakers for 2020 and will publicise these in due course.

The usual format for these evenings are as follows.

  • Evenings begin at 7.30pm, arriving from 7:00pm. A two course meal followed by tea or coffee will be served as usual. If you could like to come as a group, tables of up to ten can be reserved. The cost per event is £25 per person. A £10 deposit per person is required in full at the time of booking.
  • Contact the office on 01494 881037 or by email at bookings@srpf.org.uk for more details and to book.

 

Previous events in 2019;

14th November 2019 – Carole Petipher gave a talk around “Monet’s Paradise on Earth”. In it she looked at the Artist together with his creation at Giverny which is truly a Garden for all seasons.  He was to find both inspiration and sanctuary there and today it is one of the most visited gardens in the world.

Carole lives locally and has worked for the last twenty years as a guide in France often using as her base, converted barges or petrol tankers!

18th July 2019Jill Eyres gave a talk entitled ‘Life and Death in a Roman Villa – the Hambleden Story‘. There have been some amazing discoveries in the Hambleden Valley and Jill spoke about what was happening there in Roman Britain.

Jill is well known locally and has worked on archaeological sites in the UK as well as abroad.

4th April 2019Timothy Walker spoke on ‘The Healing Power of Plants‘. It was a wonderful evening all round. 80 people enjoyed some good food and a wonderful and informative talk from Timothy.

Timothy is an eloquent, knowledgeable and entertaining speaker, who came highly recommended.

Thank you for a wonderful afternoon tea.

Oasis, Christ Church - Jul 2018

Thank you for having us! Great stay, lovely garden and helpful staff. See you again next year.

Vacation Project, Lincoln College Oxford - Aug 2018

The success of the weekend was helped ... by the quality of the accommodation ... the generous provision of our food but perhaps most of all the staff

Bereaved dads' weekend Nov 2018

This has been a wonderful caring time. Thank you St Katharine's staff team.

NW & JT, Marlow - Oct 2018

Thank you so much for everything that you and your team did for our family yesterday. Everything went so smoothly and everyone said what a wonderful venue St Katharine's was both in terms of food and venue. Your team were absolutely outstanding and made the day very easy for us.

CM - Feb 2020

Thank you for a wonderful stay. It was perfect. The memorial garden is wonderful and so good to have time to sit and appreciate the atmosphere.

Rosemary