THE Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome, is leading a
fund-raising drive to turn Rose Castle, the Bishop's historic
residence, into a Christian centre for reconciliation.
In 2010, the Church Commissioners announced that they would sell
the castle, after it had been declared unsuitable as the Bishop's
residence the year before (
News, 28 May 2010). After a campaign against selling the
castle, which called for it to become a heritage site, the
Commissioners agreed to delay marketing the property until the
autumn of 2013.
Speaking on Wednesday, Bishop Newcome said that he had suggested
that Rose Castle instead become a Christian centre for
reconciliation, and that the Commissioners had now extended the
deadline for selling until June next year.
The Rose Castle Foundation, which he is chairing, hoped to raise
"altogether around £5 million" to buy the castle and restore it. He
said that the foundation was "actively looking for one or two high
net-worth individuals who would be inspired by the vision".
It had also been in talks with a number of universities, the
Tutu Foundation, and some organisations in the United States. The
Archbishop of Canterbury had agreed to be a patron.
The centre for reconciliation would have "four strands", Bishop
Newcome said. It would host "scriptural reasoning" sessions between
Christians, Muslims, and Jews; "religious awareness training" for
journalists, politicians, and others in public life; "environmental
awareness training"; and conflict-resolution discussions.
Bishop Newcome said: "Conversations with people around the world
suggest this is the kind of thing people could get interested