A sanctuary of peace and stability, a place set apart for prayer,
concentration and meditation upon the Divine Mysteries


Set apart, and yet interacting with the local community, the Hermit embraces a life of solitude for the sake of the love of God, in order to deepen the contemplative state of Union and participation in the Divine Wisdom.

Karen Markham has a first class degree in music from the University of Leeds and a PhD in musical composition from the University of Durham. She began her spiritual training in the Sufi Community of Sheikh Muhammad Rahim Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, in Philadelphia, USA, from 1995 - 1997.

Since the autumn of 2000, she has worked closely with Hieromonk Silouan of the Monastery of Saints Anthony and Cuthbert, absorbing the Orthodox Liturgy, the Eastern Christian eremitical tradition and the Mystical Theology of the Eastern/Western Church.



Karen at the blessing of the Hermitage in 2009

Karen has lived, worked and prayed at the Hermitage of Divine Wisdom since January 2004.

In May 2009, she was formally consecrated to the solitary life of prayer and contemplation, and the Hermitage blessed, by the then Bishop of Ludlow, Michael Hooper, who is now the Episcopal patron of the Hermitage.

The Blessing was well attended, and for many in the Community, the Hermitage has become a light - a focus and an inspiration.

This Blessing was especially poignant in its union of both Eastern and Western Christian Traditions.

In 2002 she resigned from her position as lecturer in music at the Leeds College of Music to embrace, full time, the eremitical contemplative life, training at the Monastery from 2002 - 2004.

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"When you are deeply in love with someone, you love them for who they are and not for what they do.
Karen's vocation and the vocation of a hermit is to love God for being God"     
(Bishop Michael Hooper)

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