New Priory at Whitby

Archbishop of York lays foundation stone for new Priory at Whitby


There has been a monastic community in the North Yorkshire coastal town of Whitby since at least AD 657. The monastery is famous as the venue of the crucial Synod that bought together the different strands of Christianity in the Saxon kingdom of Northumbria to agree the date of Easter, amongst other things. The decision to adopt the Roman calculation over the Celtic formula was eventually adopted across Britain. The original monastery now lies in ruins, but this week the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, laid the foundation stone for a new priory in the town.

The new Priory is being built in the grounds of Sneaton Castle, Whitby for a group of Anglican Sisters, the Order of the Holy Paraclete. The Priory is being built by Leeds-based Castlehouse Construction and should be completed by the end of the year. The new Priory will become the new Mother House of the Order, which has been part of the Whitby community since 1915. Its current Mother House looks across the east cliff to the monastery founded by St Hilda.

The new Priory will include private accommodation for the Order, including a new Chapel, infirmary wing and associated external works within its grounds.

‘The new Priory is the fulfilment of much prayer and planning over the years,” Sister Carole, the Order’s Prioress, said. “We are thrilled that the move is imminent and look forward to welcoming more people than we can at present.’’

The Project Manager for Castlehouse Construction, Andrew Lyon, said: “It is a real honour to work with the Sisters to deliver a modern new Priory for the Order to call home. When complete, the new facility will provide a great base from which they can continue their valuable work in the Whitby community and beyond.’’