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New general manager appointed at Rydal Hall

A new general manager has been appointed at Rydal Hall, the Diocese of Carlisle’s Christian conference and retreat centre.

James and Ruth RichardsJames Richards is currently the warden at Parcevall Hall, the Diocese of Leeds’ retreat centre in Appletreewick in Yorkshire. He will take up his new post in March.

James, 50, said: “I’m delighted to have been offered this opportunity and I very much look forward to working with all the staff at Rydal Hall and the Diocese of Carlisle as together we continue the work to make this the premier Christian venue.

“There has been so much exciting work undertaken at Rydal in recent years, from the refurbishment of the 30 bedrooms to create en suite facilities for all, through to the opening of a new campsite, tea room and the building of the new hydro-electric scheme which generates power for the hall.

“My wife and I are delighted to be moving to the Lake District and firmly believe this to be God’s calling for both of us. We look forward to building on the work that has gone before and offering a warm welcome to all our guests, old and new.”

James, who is married to Ruth, will live in on-site accommodation at Rydal Hall and will oversee the day-to-day management of the site which includes the 30-bedroom hall, camp site, tea room and extensive woodland grounds.

He comes to the post following two years at Parcevall Hall, during which time he has grown the business and overseen an extensive refurbishment project. He has also worked to develop relationships with the Friends of Parcevall Hall and those people living in the local community.

James trained as a surveyor and began working as an agent in the hotel property business in the early 1990s, also providing business consultancy to the hospitality industry. He has been in post at Parcevall Hall since December 2014.

He succeeds Jonathon Green who was appointed Warden at the Diocese of Chester’s Foxhill retreat centre at Frodsham in Cheshire in June of this year.

The Ven Penny Driver, Archdeacon of Westmorland and Furness and Chair of the Rydal Hall Board of Directors, said: “We are delighted that we will soon be welcoming James and Ruth to the Lake District to help continue to grow the Diocese’s Christian retreat centre.

“James has a proven track record in helping to develop and grow businesses within the hospitality sector. We very much look forward to him using those God-given skills to bring continued growth at Rydal Hall.”


Notes to editors
Rydal Hall is a Grade II listed historic building, with parts dating back to the 1600s. It is set in 34 acres of woodland and was once the home of the Le Fleming family before being sold to the Diocese of Carlisle in the 1960s.


For further information contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager, on 07469 153658, 01768 807764 or at

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