As I write this, we are in the week of the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III and Her Majesty The Queen Consort. We pray for them in these and the coming days, not only for protection but that their service will be one of wisdom and insight.
The phrase ‘the King’s grace’ has been used in past times to describe a king’s favour, his presence, or just the king himself. The King’s grace has of course, the last word in the Bible – Revelation 22 v21 – ‘The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen’.
Whatever difficulty, guilt, or pain we experience, the grace of The King always prevails. The worlds and our greatest hope is in the grace of King Jesus.
Here at St Katharine’s, I believe we are recipients of that grace – despite the journey of the last few years, in particular lockdown, we give thanks that we are still here! It is purely down to His Grace and provision – and the answers to many many prayers offered up for this special place…and we continue to give Him all the glory and praise for that.
We continue to be excited about what God is doing at, and through St Katharine’s Parmoor and we look forward to you being a part of that journey.
A truly significant and crucial step forward for what we offer is that the Chaplaincy Team that we have been forming over recent months, will be starting their ministry on Monday 15th May and more details are available later in this Newsletter.
But first, a reminder of the programme of Quiet Days and Retreats we have created allowing you to come and be fed – both physically but importantly, spiritually. Quite deliberately, the themes vary and hopefully there will be something to attract you.
If you are in ministry, in whatever shape that takes, we have also included some Midweek Sabbath retreats.
Please follow this link for a little more detail about each one and we encourage you to contact the office to reserve your place.
In these days of uncertainty and change, many are anxious about the road ahead – rising energy and food costs, the war in Ukraine, ill-health, loss of loved ones – and other situations affecting daily life.
In Philippians 4: 6-7 we read…
Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
On a personal note, when my mum was given just a few weeks to live earlier this year, as a family, including mum in those days, a peace fell over us like nothing any of us had experienced before. Her passing just 4 weeks later was peaceful and pain-free. Of course, a terrible sadness then, and still now, but we thank God for his protection through this time.
It is our prayer that, whatever situation you find yourself in, you are able to experience the peace spoken of in those verses above.
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We continue to be excited about the future of St Katharine’s Parmoor. Despite the challenges that many are facing, we are seeing increased numbers of people taking time out on retreat.
We highlight here a number of things that are happening over the coming weeks and months and if you would like further information about any of the following updates, please click on the links or contact me, Stewart, via the contact details on this website.
We are once again offering the opportunity to enjoy a St Katharine’s Christmas Lunch.
With a Christmas Tree and roaring log fire in the Entrance Hall, we invite you to share a lunch with your Homegroup, Staff team or simply friends or family.
Cost is £35 per person for a traditional 3 course Christmas lunch.
While we understand that in these days, for many, their financial situation is getting tougher, we strongly believe that for those who benefit from, or are exploring the exercise of taking time out on retreat, whether for a day or longer, this is something that they should endeavour to keep doing.
As such, we are able to offer a 20% discount on all retreats at St Katharine’s Parmoor through the months of December 2022 and January 2023.
We are putting together a small programme of retreats and quiet days for 2023 and details can be found by clicking on the “praying hands” picture opposite to go to the Events page.
The first event being the “Dawn of a New Year” retreat/quiet days – see below. Others will be added as they are finalized.
Dawn of a New Year – Monday 9th to Sunday 15th January
How do you prepare for this new year? What does 2023 hold for you? Some big decisions? Looking for some peace and stillness after the busy Christmas period?
We encourage you to take some time out over this week to spend time in prayer, reading or just to enjoy the stillness of St Katharine’s.
Day visitor – £28 to include lunch
Residential – £71.20 per 24hrs to include all meals. (Discounted price)
An exciting development at St Katharine’s Parmoor, is the formation of a team of volunteer Chaplains. We are already greatly encouraged by the interest shown.
Team members are, and will be, qualified or experienced Spiritual Directors. If this is something that interests you please contact me, Stewart, for further details.
We don’t pretend to be ‘up there with the best of them’ when it comes to social media but can we encourage you to like/follow St Katharine’s Parmoor on the 3 platforms we use. Clicking on each logo below will take you to the relevant page where you will be able to like/follow us.
At the beginning of most weeks, we post a ‘Monday Musings’, written by different members of the Sue Ryder Prayer Fellowship. This is being very well received. Look out for it on our FB and Instagram pages.
Needless to say, running a building like St Katharine’s, Parmoor can be and is, a costly venture. We are completely self-funding and reliant on the bookings we receive to pay our ever increasing costs.
We have been prudent throughout the lockdown periods, making some tough decisions and being able to make significant savings whilst following this, seeing an impressive increase in revenue since we were able to reopen fully in 2021.
As an indicator, the increased revenue in the last year, which was the contingency for the start of 2023, has been spent on the hugely increased energy costs since January 2022.
We remain confident about the future of St Katharine’s Parmoor and already see a very good and encouraging number of bookings for 2023.
If you find it in your heart to be able to offer some assistance over these quieter winter days, we would clearly be most grateful.
A donation can be made either by;
– a BACS payment to CAF Bank – Acct No: 00029867
Acct Name: The Sue Ryder Prayer Fellowship
– a cheque made payable to The Sue Ryder Prayer Fellowship
– via this website by clicking on the DONATE button above
If you are able to Gift Aid, a GA Declaration form can be emailed to you.
If you have any questions or would like further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me, Stewart, by email – email@example.com or phone – 01494 881037
We thank you in anticipation of any assistance you might be able to offer. If you aren’t in a position to be able to, we simply ask for your continued prayers for the House, the Staff and Volunteers and of course, the guests who continue to use us as a place of peace, rest and retreat.
What a time we have all been through over this last 2 or 3 years. COVID (which continues…) and the lock-downs, the pain and suffering through those days as well as the lose of loved ones in exceptional times and circumstances. We then, mid 2021, saw the light at the end of the tunnel, lock-downs eased, ‘normal’ life was slowly returning.
Then this year we witness the war in Ukraine, increasing prices across the board, a serious economic/cost of living issue for many, the shenanigans within parliament (all round!) and I’m sure you can highlight many more instances. Where will it end?
In John 16:33 we read;
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world
you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
I trust you are encouraged by this, there is hope, it doesn’t mean things will get easier immediately but we need to hold on to the truth of Jesus and His promise to us.
We continue to be greatly encouraged by the number of enquiries and bookings we are receiving and look froward to what is to come.
In these weeks we have been able to welcome 2 new members of staff as well as a couple of volunteers. We are still looking to fill a position or two and more details can be found by clicking on this link – Vacancies & Volunteers.
So what do we have happening in the coming weeks?
As well as continuing to be here for individuals and groups/churches to use us for personal/group Quiet Days and Retreats, we have programmed in some events to offer something a little different.
Please click on the links for further details.
Please click on the following links for more details.
We have put together (and are adding to) a programme of Retreats, Quiet Days and some other events.
Holy Week Quiet Days/Retreat, 2 music retreats with Marilyn Baker Ministries and then Dave & Pat Bilbrough. And the year ends with an Advent Retreat and Quiet Day.
Please visit our website to see, or call us to talk through, what we are able to offer.
Chaplaincy Team – a team of people who will provide a spiritual input to the life of the House. Being available to regularly pray for the House and provide Spiritual Direction for any guests seeking such input. We are just working through the process and more details will be available in the next Newsletter.
Open Day – Saturday 16th July – after the success of last year’s event, we are in the early stages of planning for this year. There will be opportunity to look around the house, hear some of it’s history. We will have another array of craft stalls to peruse and Marlow Town band will once again provide some music.
Importantly, we will also be marking the 10th Anniversary of the Lady Ryder Memorial Garden and celebrating the great work that is done there.
Refurbishments – we are in the early stages of looking at the feasibility of;
These refurbishments will clearly not be cheap and we are looking at putting together a fundraising project for this specific work. More details will be available in due course
In recent weeks we have been able to welcome some wonderful volunteers/part-time staff, who are all settling in well. We do continue to look for people to assist in the work that we are carrying out here.
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;
If you’d like more information around any of these, please contact us – firstname.lastname@example.org 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
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?
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.
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 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.
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:
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
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.
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
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
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.
As the cold winter months descend on us, we are offering two options of meeting with up to 5 of your family or friends.
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.
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.
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
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. ”
Just wanted to thank you for the lovely day we spent on Saturday.
I felt very welcome, the food was delicious and the grounds were so peaceful.
It was really good to get away from the hustle and bustle for a few hours.
Please convey my thanks to all who were involved.
May God bless you all ”
J.K. London 2022
Stunning house and gardens both are beautifully cared for. Staff were wonderful and vegan food was delicious. Thank you for a wonderful day.
Melissa - Sept 2022
Just a short note of thanks for my wonderful day at St. Katherine's yesterday. It was such a fruitful and blessed time with God.
Please pass on my thanks for the warmth of the welcome.
I look forward to booking another day with you in the future and will be in touch then.
Sheila - April 2022
I just wanted to say thank you to you and your staff for a wonderful retreat weekend. Everything was just lovely - the location, the accommodation and the food.
It was a truly refreshing time and having everything arranged so perfectly meant that there were no distractions to relaxing and hearing from God ”
Rachel - April 2022
Just wanted to thank you for the lovely day we spent on Saturday.
I felt very welcome, the food was delicious and the grounds were so peaceful.
It was really good to get away from the hustle and bustle for a few hours.
Jenny - March 2022
Many thanks to all those who made our retreat such a success.
Peaceful surroundings with ideal facilities and great hospitality made for a memorable time.
VW - Nov 22
We had a marvellous time last week.
The house is so clean and tidy and beautifully supportive of quiet yet productive prayer.
It is a credit to you all. ”
LD - Nov 22
I was with you today for the Deanery Retreat Day and it was so lovely to be there, and we were so well looked after – thank you so much! ”
JD - Nov 22
It was a WONDERFUL venue and we very much enjoyed meeting you, and were blessed by the amazing hospitality by you and your team. Thank you so much. ”
DH - Dec 2022
Please pass on my thanks and appreciation for my two day stay last week. The meals were all great and my stay was a real help to me and I hope to be coming back again in the next few months. ”
TP - Feb 2023
Thanks for letting us use St Katherine's this last couple of days. We had a lovely time and were very well looked after. The ladies really loved being there and felt very much that they had got away from the stresses of everyday life. ”
RM - March 2023
Thank you for a super day on Saturday. There has only been positive feedback from everyone. We were well looked after by your catering team. The Prayer Room worked well - and the sun came out in the afternoon, so the team up top also doing marvellous work. ”
LW - March 2023
A huge thanks for a WONDERFUL time at our men's weekend away. ”
SB - March 2023
We had a wonderful day in so many ways. Loved the food and the setting, the sense of space and peace there is so tangible. ”
SW - May 2023