History of RFSK
ST KATHARINE’s has been a centre for worship, hospitality, and service since it was founded by Queen Matilda in 1147. Historically, the religious community living around the chapel provided support for the old and sick, and continued to do so until 1825, when dock building forced a relocation to Regent’s Park. But this was temporary. After the Second World War, it was agreed that the East End needed St Katherine’s back, and it moved to the site of St James’s, Ratcliff, after the original church’s destruction in the Blitz.
The foundation is now housed in the Georgian vicarage, which still stands. The complex has grown over time, but has preserved the sense of an oasis in the city. The reordered chapel gracefully connects with the Georgian house and a modern retreat and conference centre.
St. Katharine’s is a place where many have found its sense of calm transforms the way they feel. Whether on a short stay in London, a business trip, a holiday from abroad or a personal retreat, we offer a unique London accommodation alternative to London hotels.
In keeping with the peaceful environment, there are no televisions in the bedrooms, however complimentary high speed WiFi is available throughout St Katharine’s. Our spacious lounge, conservatory, garden and small library are all wonderful settings to spend time relaxing or working during your stay.
Our beautiful garden is home to undisturbed wildlife also finding sanctuary at St Katharine’s. You can often see blackbirds, wood pigeons, squirrels in the sheltered space of our garden as well as the rose bush planted by our patron Queen Elizabeth II during her last visit.
The historic rooms, tapestry, chapel, garden and central London location make it hard to imagine a more peaceful urban setting for group or individual London retreats. St. Katharine’s has a rich history of hospitality and is built around being an oasis in which to take time out from daily life for reflection, contemplation, or just to be.
There are a variety of retreats at RFSK to cater to the individual’s preferences. Our Quiet Days are led events on given topics presented and led by guest speakers; whereas our Open Reflective Days are for people to enjoy our urban oasis for themselves. We also have led and non-led Residential Retreats for those who wish to stay that bit longer in St Katharine’s tranquil environment.
We have the rare privilege of being a few minutes’ walk from the river Thames in the East of London but still just moments from Limehouse DLR station. A wonderful chance to step out of the city but not to leave it.
St Katharine’s triples as a meetings and conference centre boasting a wealth of conference facilities at your service and presents seven beautiful meeting rooms which hold groups of people ranging from 2 – 70 in number.
Many of our meeting rooms have natural light, and windows looking onto our beautiful gardens. Home cooked and freshly prepared every day, all of our food is made on site. We provide appetising and wholesome food for all our meeting and conference guests, with every effort to provide fair trade produce where possible.
To find out more about the royal peculiar that is The Royal Foundation of St Katharine, please visit our website at www.rfsk.org.uk. If you would like to chat to a member of the Reservations, Meetings or Retreats team, please call 0300 111 1147.