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Statement on Rose Castle

The Bishop's Council has released a statement on behalf of the Diocese, following the Church Commissioners' decision to sell Rose Castle.

"We want to express our support for the Church Commissioners in their decisions about Rose Castle.

"First,  the Commissioners have engaged with and consulted the Diocese of Carlisle extensively.  We agree with them that Rose Castle is no longer appropriate as a bishop’s house – indeed, questions about its suitability, and attempts to find an alternative, date back 80 years.  It needs very substantial repairs, but even if these were done, its running costs would still be very very high;  and it is in an isolated location.

"Second, we are delighted with the new Bishop’s House in Keswick.  It is a very suitable house in a good location.

"Third, Rose Castle is owned by the Church Commissioners.  As it is no longer a Bishop’s House, it becomes part of the Commissioners’ portfolio of assets.  The income they get from their assets is used to support the work of the Church, helping to pay for clergy in hard-pressed parishes;  one of their roles is to maximise that income.  The Commissioners’ decision sell Rose Castle is therefore reasonable, and allowing the Friends of Rose Castle up to two years to raise the asking price seems very fair.

"It is always sad when a longstanding tradition comes to an end, and the severing of an 800 year link between the Bishops of Carlisle and Rose Castle is certainly that.  However we believe most people in the Diocese today would understand that, in these days of challenging choices, it is right to prioritise spending on the mission of the Church above preserving this historical connection."  

The 18 members of Bishop’s Council 29 ix 2011

Read the Church Commissioners' announcement on the decision in principle to sell Rose Castle

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