‘An oasis of calm’ - Batley and Spen MP visits Mirfield monastery

Batley and Spen MP Kim Leadbeater described visiting a Mirfield monastery as ‘an oasis of calm’ during her busy schedule.
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Kim was invited to the Community of Resurrection, on Stocks Bank Road, after one of the resident monks heard an interview she had given about the pressures of life at Westminster as well as in the constituency.

The community has been a part of Mirfield for 125 years, while a theological college was opened in 1902 to provide opportunities for working class boys to enter the priesthood, with the father of former Prime Minister Theresa May studying there.

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She was welcomed by Brother Nicolas Stebbing and the Prior, Brother Philip, where they discussed a wide range of issues including environmental protection, the importance of rooting politics in communities and giving local people as much power as possible over decisions affecting their lives.

Kim Leadbeater at the Community of Resurrection in MirfieldKim Leadbeater at the Community of Resurrection in Mirfield
Kim Leadbeater at the Community of Resurrection in Mirfield
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Kim was given a tour of the monastery, church and grounds and saw an outdoor amphitheatre where both the suffragette leader, Emily Pankhurst, and the founder of the Labour Party, Keir Hardie, had spoken in the past.

She said: “The monastery really is an oasis of calm and I can understand why so many people have found it a perfect retreat for prayer and silent reflection.

“I was a bit surprised that Brother Nicolas and Brother Philip were so happy to have a political discussion but given the history of the institution maybe I shouldn’t have been.

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“I shall certainly go back to benefit from the peace and tranquillity, and I think I may even have signed the monks up for my first Mirfield litter pick next year.

“If I’m fortunate enough to be elected to represent Spen Valley at the next general election it will be a pleasure to have the Community within my new constituency.”