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Rose Castle sold to be peace and reconciliation centre

09 September 2016


Vacant possession: the chapel wing of Rose Castle, which has been empty since 2009

Vacant possession: the chapel wing of Rose Castle, which has been empty since 2009

ROSE CASTLE, the former residence of the Bishop of Carlisle, has been purchased for use as an international centre of peace and reconciliation.

Vacant since 2009, it has been purchased on behalf of the Rose Castle Foundation, a charitable organisation chaired by the Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Revd James Newcome; and the Regius Professor of Divinity Emeritus at Cambridge, Dr David Ford. Its founding director, Sarah Snyder, was recently appointed as the Archbishop of Canterbury’s adviser for reconciliation (News, 29 July).

The purchase had been enabled by “very generous donations”, Bishop Newcome said on Friday. “We recognise there has been a real groundswell of support in Cumbria for what we want to achieve, and for this we are very grateful.”

Ms Snyder said that Rose Castle would be a “safe and tranquil space for people to meet with trained facilitators, committed to building peace”.

The Commissioners announced that they were selling Rose Castle in 2010 (News, 2 July 2010). At the time, they were spending £5.9 million on bishops’ homes; currently, the figure is £4.9 million. The move was opposed by the Friends of Rose Castle, which feared that it would be lost to private ownership (News, 23 September 2011). The subsequent drive to raise £5 million to transform it into a Christian centre for reconciliation was led by Bishop Newcome (News, 30 August 2013).

Further funding will be needed to refurbish the castle.

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