The Revd Canon Les Wells

What a wonderful vision God gave to Uvedale Lambert.

We were invited and we came together on Saturday 16th July to celebrate 60 years of Wychcroft, the diocesan retreat and resource Centre on a hot afternoon.

The grounds are outstanding is the Surrey countryside where many memories are lived and experienced, as pilgrims make their way in embracing all what Wychcroft offers. We once again looked after by Richard, Wendy and their wonderful staff where nothing is too much trouble.

Part of the celebration was to witness the tree planting in the new pray walk area by Dame Sarah Goad, Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, as we celebrate her father’s vision supported by the then bishop of Southwark Mervyn Stockwood.  Within the celebrations the Bishop of Southwark +Christopher led a Holy Eucharist to give thanks to God for the wonderful vision God had given the family and for St Mark’s foundation trust for the support they give Wychcroft in the growing development to the Retreat Centre it has become today, if always feels that Wychcroft and the team is covered in prayers.

Wychcroft is in the hearts of Surrey Countryside, Uvedale Lambert and his family had a vision from the Lord to create a place of prayer, peace, with hospitality and welcome.  Many have travelled too for many reasons, and they are all pilgrims on a journey, a place for training friendship, fellowship, and discipleship, 60 years on, many are all still receiving the benefits of such a wonderful Retreat Centre with the peace of God Spirit ever present.

Reflecting on my own personal journey, Wychcroft has always played a part in my pilgrimage from 1999. I was introduced to Wychcroft when I have been accepted for ordination training, my training as an OLM (Ordained Local Ministry). We (my year group) have all been back too on many occasions. My year group were ordained deacon 2004, although we have all taken different paths, Wychcroft always remains a special place in our hearts within our relationship with God and many memories we have experienced.

We met at Wychcroft while training, four weekends a year, many others have been before ordination to deacon, priest, readers, SPAs, bishop study days other training, retreat and selection weekends, everyone visitor received that special hospitality that Wychcroft offers.

Wychcroft has become a spiritual home for many pilgrims who were seeking God call and guidance in their journey. Wychcroft is a place where you will encounter God and his love for all people.

There were three displays on show during the afternoon, Welcare, SparkFish and Cursillo, all supported by Southwark dioceses.

We were served plenty of wonderful cakes as normal and the food is always one of the exceptional attractions as Richard, Wendy and staff team cater for all dietary requirements with a very generous spirit.

As we all gathered to hear a few words from Sarah Goad and Bishop Christopher after they planted the tree.

Thank you for such a wonderful place of tranquility, where God is always engaging with those who visit in many experiences of God love and Grace. Thank you to Uverdale Lambert he heard the word of God and put into practice. All pilgrims  benefit from that vision which bring a peace to the Spirit.

The Revd Canon Joyce Forbes

What a glorious day to be celebrating 60 years at Wychroft.

The day started at 12 noon, Mother Isoline Russell, said that she had arrived at around 11:15 am, there were a few people who had arrived a little earlier than her, but soon the trickle of people became very busy with people arriving and greeting each other, some they had not seen for quite a while. I arrived around 12:30, the place was busy with guests in all areas in the house.

In the entrance hall on the table were photo  albums of past ordinands in  year groups. This allowed you to browse through and reminisce on your time at Wychroft.

There was music out on the terrace, as well as a tent where guests could meet and have cake, sandwiches and drinks. In the dining area there was refreshments laid out of sandwiches, cakes, hot and cold drinks that we all could feast on. For entertainment there were games of Crocket being played on the Lawn, as well as three stacks of Jenga, which I observe couples playing and enjoying themselves.

There were Three organisations represented by stalls on the lawn with displays  from SparkFish  based at St John the Evangelist Church Redhill. The Chair of SparkFish Archdeacon Moria Astin informed me that there are three strands to SparkFish: THINK  This is Space in Schools, HOPE Mentoring for Children and LEARN – volunteers put on activities at Easter, Advent and Christmas. Please check out their website for more information The other two  were Welcare, a Family Support resource that’s been supporting families for over 125 Years ( and third one was Anglican Cursillo, they were inviting us to join (contact [email protected] for more info).

In the afternoon we were treated to the planting of a Tree, Liquid Amber, in the Prayer Garden. This was officiated by the Daughter of the Late Uvedale Lambert, Dame Sarah Jane Francis Goad and Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, The Bishop of Southwark.

3pm we had we had the  Thanksgiving Service  of The  Holy Eucharist held in the Chapel at Wychroft.

We then had more teas and cakes and said our goodbyes.

It really was great spending time in a place that means so much to so many people. May it continue for another 60 years and beyond serving Southwark Diocese and the community.

Find out more about Wychcroft at