History and Now
The main house at Park Place is a Grade 2 listed Georgian building that was formerly a family home and afterwards run as a preparatory school. Purchased by the Franciscan Sisters of St. Mary of the Angels (FSMA) in 1960, the School continued until 1972, when Park Place was established as a Pastoral Centre. In 1968 the distinctive chapel was added, designed as an ecumenical place of worship. This open, tolerant approach to spirituality is an enduring characteristic of Park Place.
The community of Park Place is made up of Franciscan sisters, lay people and a Franciscan priest. Although Park Place is not a parish, at a time when traditional parish boundaries are giving way to "pastoral areas" the Centre serves to meet the pastoral needs of individuals and groups of all backgrounds and ages. We actively encourage people of different traditions, faiths and interests to explore differences, similarities, strengths and doubts. All who come here leave their footprints and positive energy on the Centre.
In recent years, Park Place has diversified its activities to include a conference and training venue, a retreat centre, bed and breakfast holiday facilities and a variety of creative activities and concerts. All these are in keeping with the central ethos of Park Place as a spiritual centre.
On Sundays, Mass at Park Place chapel attracts Christians especially Catholics from a wide area and has become well-known for its distinctive blend of Eastern and Western traditions. All guests at Park Place are welcome to attend daily Mass. Should you want it, you have access to a friendly ear and good advice from one of the community members.