On Friday 1st June we submitted a 12-page proposal to Carlisle Diocese offering a possible way forward for the development of the House of Prayer/rural Minster. Bishop James Newcome had requested this while visiting the area during Maddy Prior’s festival.
The basic premise is that a rectory is sold, plus either:
- sale of one other redundant vicarage within the deanery, or
- personal loan to top up funds
This is to enable the purchase and refurbishment of 115 acre farm, about 3/4 mile from Bewcastle church, the ancient site of an early Saxon monastery from around the time of St Cuthbert (to whom the church is dedicated). The potential for a community to grow on this site is tremendous. Hydro-energy could be developed on the beck running through the land, straw-bale accommodation built, wood fuel and food grown, hospitality offered, especially in yurts/benders/tents. And prayer offered 4 times a day in the regular rhythm of the offices. The large new barns would make great spaces in which to work, developing practical skills, and the old lime kiln brought back into operation to lime some of the land. Woodland could be established on the upper land and the wetland area expanded to additionally provide water storage for potable and hydro-power use.
We have a meeting with the Archdeacon and Diocesan Secretary scheduled for 20th June on which it all hangs. Please join us in prayer for the Spirit of God to prevail…