Is there cash in the monastery attic?

TREASURES: Father John Gribben with some of the items to be auctioned. (d17011143)
TREASURES: Father John Gribben with some of the items to be auctioned. (d17011143)

HISTORICAL artefacts which have been hidden away in a monastery attic for years are to be auctioned off to raise cash for a refurbishment project.

The Community of the Resurrection will sell items which have been gathering dust in its attic and the proceeds will help pay for desperately-needed refurbishment of its 100-year-old church, in Stocksbank Road, Mirfield, which is expected to cost £1.5m.

The finds include a portrait of Princess Margaret sent to the Community after her visit in 1967, rare books including a limited edition of the Passion narrative by artist Eric Gill, and memorabilia of celebrated anti-apartheid campaigner and Community brother Trevor Huddleston, including his passport.

Fr John Gribben, who is organising the auction, said: “Having been here since 1898, we have acquired a lot of furniture that we live very comfortably with but a great deal of it is antique. Many of these things will go into the auction.

“We also have a statuette of Buddha from when Trevor Huddleston was the Archbishop of the Indian Ocean, and a box of Victorian cameos that have been in the house for over 100 years. They are the sort of thing English ladies used to bring back from their grand tours of Italy.”

The community is also appealing to people to donate unwanted items for it to sell to boost the renovation fund. It is looking for things like medals, badges, jewellery, uniforms, memorabilia, church items, vintage comics, annuals, wind-up watches, vintage medical and scientific instruments, stamps and coins.

The brothers are hoping to raise £10,000 towards the cost of the refurbishment.

The auction takes place on October 22 and will be held by Fr Gribben’s brother, Belfast auctioneer George Gribben.