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
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.
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.
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
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.
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 2019 – Jill 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 2019 – Timothy 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.
The Lady Ryder Memorial Garden, the one acre walled garden attached to St Katharine’s, opened their doors on Saturday 27th July 2019 to visitors.
It was a wonderful day, although the weather was a little mixed. In excess of £660 was raised through the selling of plants and produce – all grown within the garden.
The garden team (all volunteers themselves) are always looking for others to assist with the work they are undertaking. If you have even just a handful of hours you can spare a week or month – please make contact through St Katharine’s office – Tel: 01494 881037 or email.
See more about the garden by visiting their website at lrmg.co.uk
St Katharine’s apple juice is now available to buy £3.30 a bottle, 3 bottles for £9 or a case of 12 for £33.
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. ”