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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 April, 2005, 06:53 GMT 07:53 UK
Nuns pray for monastery decision
Candle and cross
The community has been based at Stanbrook since 1837
A new monastery and abbey could be built in North Yorkshire if plans are approved - the first for centuries.

A Benedictine community of nuns from Stanbrook Abbey, Worcestershire, have submitted plans to the national park for land at Wass, near Helmsley.

The site near the ruins of Byland Abbey, once one of the biggest abbeys in northern England, was chosen because of its "beauty, peace and quiet".

The North York Moors National Park said it was considering the application.

'Future of hope'

Twenty-five nuns and more than 100 lay members of the community would live at the monastery.

The community's current abbey in the Malvern Hills, where they have been since 1837, will be sold.

Abbess Joanna Jamieson said the move would make better use of financial and human resources.

"A strong sense of monastic purpose has given us the courage to make this difficult decision," she said.

"A new phase in our history is opening.

"Confident in the role of our monastic life in the church of today, we face the future in hope."




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