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Revamped campaign to save Rose Castle launched : The Church of England Newspaper, August 16, 2013, p 6. August 25, 2013

Posted by geoconger in Church of England, Church of England Newspaper.
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Rose Castle, Cumbria

The Bishop of Carlisle, the Rt Rev James Newcome, has taken the helm of a charitable foundation that is hoping to buy Rose Castle, the historic home of the bishops of Carlisle near Dalston in Cumbria. On 9 August 2013 the Cumberland News reported Bishop Newcome was one of three trustees of the new group, which hopes to carry on the work of the former Friends of Rose Castle society which had hoped to raise money to prevent the sale of the medieval palace.

“I feel a certain responsibility towards it as a Bishop of Carlisle, given that all my predecessors lived there and operated from there,” the bishop said, noting “it is one of our heritage buildings and I want to see it used in the best possible way and, if possible, for some kind of religious purpose.”

In January 2011 the Church Commissioners deemed Rose Castle and Hartlebury Castle in Worcestershire, the home to the Bishops of Worcester and Carlisle, were “no longer suitable” to house the senior members of the clergy.  The two palaces would be sold and the profits reinvested the profits to support the Church’s ministries a spokesman said.

The commissioners agreed to delay the sale of Hartlebury to allow the Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust time to raise the estimated £2.25m needed to purchase the property. In April 2013 the Trust announced “the success of our round one Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) application.  We are currently working towards a round two HLF application, this means lots of work on our plans for the Castle and raising a minimum of £250,000.”

In 2011 Trust chairman Alison Brimelow said they “envisage a partnership with the County Museum and income generation from a variety of uses of the site, consistent with its heritage”.

Jane Hasell-McCosh, a member of the Rose Castle steering committee, told the Art Newspaper they hoped to be able to save the Cumbria landmark also. “It’s unique because the whole of our Border history is reflected in the number of times the castle has burnt down and been rebuilt over the centuries,” she said.

However the Friends of Rose Castle campaign has failed to make headway in its campaign to raise funds for the building’s preservation, and the committee asked Bishop Newcome to form a new group to take over.

The bishop told the Cumberland News the “Rose Castle Foundation has been established, and we are exploring a centre of reconciliation as an option.”

The Foundation had embarked on a fundraising campaign, but the Church Commissioners had extended the “time limit” to “next June, so the urgency is not as it was,” he said, but added, “If we don’t raise the money, it will be sold in June.”

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