The Sue Ryder Prayer Fellowship
All Sue Ryder's work was based on a living faith in a Living God. In the final chapter of her autobiography she quotes Pope John Paul II "We are the Easter People" and she goes on "This joyous attitude is the theme of this final chapter."
The Sue Ryder Prayer Fellowship attempts to put this attitude and Faith at the centre of its existence.
The Fellowship consists of Christians of all denominations and from all backgrounds who have come together to try to maintain and show forth the ethos of Sue Ryder - her Faith, her optimism, her belief in voluntary service and her concern for the sick, homeless and unloved of society. Prayer is at the centre of what we do.
Towards the end of her life Sue Ryder was given St Katharine's Parmoor, then an Anglican Convent which looked after elderly ladies and which had done some retreat work. This was an incredibly generous gift by Mother Christine, the last surviving member of the Order of St Katharine of Alexandria. A new charity was formed to accept the gift - The Sue Ryder Prayer Fellowship.
The Fellowship is now responsible for running a thriving Retreat House. In addition, in the Walled Garden, there is a successful project to help and rehabilitate disadvantaged young men and women who, by training in horticulture, are being helped back into work and into society. All done by volunteers.
The Fellowship meets at St Katharine's twice a year, spring and autumn, for three days. Time for reflection, prayer and worship, the central day being a Quiet Day. It also receives reports on the finances and activities of the House. Our gatherings are very much like a family homecoming - lots of laughter, story-telling and joy. We have links with Sue Ryder work in several different countries, including Poland, France, Italy, India, Australia and New Zealand.
Hopefully we are fulfilling something of what Sue Ryder wrote in that final chapter of her book.
Membership of the Fellowship is open to all and costs £10 per year. If you would like to join us please send a cheque made out to Sue Ryder Prayer Fellowship, to:
St. Katharine's, Parmoor,
If you would like to know more about the Fellowship please contact Rev. Charlie Radburn
Our next retreat will be the 2017 Spring Retreat
I offer ‘31 Days with Sue Ryder’ in the hope that it will be an encouragement to the many colleagues and friends who find themselves in the work of relieving suffering in its various forms. Sue Ryder’s faith was central to all she did, inspiring her work and making an enormous difference to many thousands of people. Focussing our attention on her spirituality offers us important insights into how she achieved so much, and therefore how this great work of caring might be carried on by ourselves and future generations.
It is entirely possible that serving and supporting others in their worst times of life can wear us down, especially as the importance and demand for genuine compassionate care continues to grow in our health services. It is truly remarkable, and in some ways mysterious, that Lady Ryder was able to flourish in such contexts. Far from being worn down, she appeared to get her energy from those in need. Just how did this work? To find the answer would be worth more than gold to our care services!
This is only one aspect of Sue Ryder that we will be examining as we look in depth at different aspects of her spiritualty. By carefully reading through one day at a time it is my belief that we will find realinspiration to fulfil our God-given potential in this life.
I warmly commend it to you.
Copies can be ordered from firstname.lastname@example.org at £2.50 each (incl. p+p).
Email: email@example.com 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