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Our Story

The Coach House opened in 1992 as a result of a shared vision held by Ursula Burton and Joyce Ferne. Their dream was for a place where everyone would feel welcome and accepted; a safe place for individuals in which to explore profound questions about God, life and themselves; a place in which to rest, be nurtured and restored.

Sadly, Ursula died in 1993 shortly after completing the conversion of the derelict coach house building, leaving Joyce to take the vision forward with the help of others. Ruth joined Joyce on the staff team in 2001, and together they helped make the Coach House dream a reality for countless individuals who have come through the doors over the years.

In 2012 the Coach House Kilmuir Trust (CHKT) purchased the derelict Steadings building nearby with a view to expanding the Coach House vision in the future. In 2014, the CHKT went into partnership with the Society of Retreat Conductors (SRC) and together they purchased the Coach House building. The SRC also became joint owners of the derelict Steadings building. Two trustees from the SRC are appointed onto the Coach House Board of trustees as part of the agreement between the two charities. CHKT looks forward to many years of close co-operation with our friends in the SRC.

This joint enterprise enabled us to bring forward ambitious plans to extend and refurbish the existing coach house building, with the "newly expanded Coach House" re-opening in June 2016. Sadly Joyce died at this time, and she was remembered both at the re-opening of the house in June and at a special memorial gathering in October 2016.

The work of the Coach House continues with Claire at the helm in the role of Co-ordinator, Lynn as Assistant Co-Ordinator, along with a small but growing team of staff and volunteers.