St Mary's Abbey West Malling Kent nuns threaten to leave if 65 houses built next door development

Mail Online | 8/28/2019 | Lara Keay For Mailonline
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Nuns are threatening to leave their 1,000-year-old abbey if developers are allowed to build 65 houses in the field next door.

Benedictine sisters have lived at St Mary's Abbey in West Malling, Kent, for more than 900 years.

Place - Worship - Acres - Grounds - Visitors

Their place of worship is surrounded by 16 acres of beautiful grounds, which attract 1,000 visitors a year.

But Mother Mary David says the nuns will leave their home if planning permission is granted for a housing estate next door.

Group - Nuns - Century - Abbey - Mother

Asked if the group of 12 nuns would leave the 10th century abbey, Mother Mary replied: 'Yes. We do occasionally wonder whether we ought to leave.

'The abbey is a heavy burden and Heritage England thinks we're doing a marvellous job which is great.

Noise - Busyness - Prevents - Life - Guests

'But if the noise and the general busyness prevents us from living our life and prevents the guests from having quietness and spaciousness we would think about it. It's got to be a vote obviously, but our vocation comes first.'

The abbey grounds are made up of two graveyards and a church, used for up to eight services a day.

Face - East - Plot - Land - Developers

Both face east, towards the plot of land proposed for developers Bellway's new hones.

The majority of the nun's bedrooms face the same direction and are located right next to the development site.

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Mother Mary, who joined the abbey 50 years ago, said: 'Looking toward the east seeing the rising sun knowing this day lies openly before us, we pray giving thanks and rejoicing in God's creation.

'Between services the church is used by sisters for personal prayer and reading. The guests especially...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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