In 1995, the Mother Superior of the Community of St Katharine of Alexandria, Mother Christine, gave the house and grounds at Parmoor, now known as St Katharine’s, and now a listed building, to Sue Ryder, Lady Ryder of Warsaw. She made the house into the headquarters of her independent charity, the Sue Ryder Prayer Fellowship, which had been founded in 1984. The Fellowship was conceived by Lady Ryder to be a “powerhouse of prayer” for the needs of others, and especially for the work carried out across the world in the name of Sue Ryder. The house is a Christian house of prayer, and welcomes people from all denominations and none and all walks of life, in a spirit of ecumenism and reconciliation. Periodically, St Katharine’s hosts gatherings of the wider Sue Ryder Family.
The house has a small permanent staff supplemented by volunteers. St Katharine’s is an old house in need of constant renovation and refurbishment, but the aim is to retain its atmosphere of rural tranquillity and prayerfulness. Most bedrooms are now en-suite. The ground floor reception rooms are ideal for meetings and seminars. There is a large Chapel, and a smaller more intimate room set aside for private prayer.
In the garden, the walled garden is being faithfully and steadily restored by volunteers, to provide vegetables and fruit for the house. The walled garden also hosts individuals and groups of disabled and vulnerable people of all ages. It is a place of safety where they can work and learn and draw huge benefit from the surroundings.
Sue Ryder cherished frugality, compassion and respect for the contribution of volunteers. All her work was based on prayer. We try to ensure that the values which were evidenced by the lives of Mother Christine and Sue Ryder live on at St Katharine’s.
Please enjoy your time at St Katharine’s and pray for the house and all who live and work here in our endeavour to provide a small oasis of calm and prayerfulness in a busy world.
Sue Ryder 1924 – 2000
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