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Urgent update – 21.11.23

Dear Friends,

It is with great sadness that we have to announce that St Oswald’s is now in the process of being sold, which consequently means that the ministry here will have to close. There has been a surprising amount of interest in the property and we are aware that multiple offers have already been made. The deadline for written offers has now passed and our understanding is that the Sisters are in the process of choosing which offer they’ll accept.

We have been greatly encouraged by the generous pledges and suggestions that many of you have made in order to help us raise the money to buy St Oswald’s ourselves, but unfortunately we were not in a position to make an offer.

We had recently met a potential buyer who had the means and desire to save St Oswald’s, but time was against us. We asked the Sisters for the process to be paused so that we could thoroughly explore this option without other offers being considered, but sadly this request was not granted. This now means we find ourselves in the heart-breaking place of facing the imminent yet untimely closure of St Oswald’s.

There is much that has bewildered us over the past few months and we truly believe it could have been possible to have found a win-win solution that would have resulted in both communities thriving. We are devastated that this has not been the outcome.

We understand that this news is greatly distressing. We recognise that many of you have journeyed with St Oswald’s over the years and we know it is a spiritual home for so many people, as well as an invaluable Kingdom resource to Christian Communities both locally and further afield.

The agents have made it clear that they want to move as quickly as possible with the sale and so the Trustees and Community have made the difficult decision that we will close at the end of November so that we can begin the daunting task of dismantling the ministry as well as the painful process of packing up their homes. Please note we will honour all existing bookings until 30th November but will not be making any new ones.

Michyla will be in touch with everyone who has booking beyond the end of November. Please be assured that full refunds will be issued for every payment made for bookings beyond our closure. Please bear with us – there is a lot of unpicking to be done!

We very much ask for your continued prayers at this challenging and unsettling time. Please pray for courage and grace for us as we begin to close down this beautiful centre and also as we begin to work out our next steps, both individually and for the Community.

As you pray for us, please also hold the Sisters in your prayers.

We’ll be in touch again before we leave.

Thank you for sharing the journey with us.

With love and prayers,

Phil Stone (Chair of Trustees) on behalf of the board of Trustees and the St Oswald’s Community