Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Green Nuns

Image source: www.benedictines.org.uk

The Guardian last week reported that a group of nuns from the rural English county of Worcestershire are on the move. They are moving from the Victorian Stanbrook Abbey to an environmentally sensitive monastery being built in the North York Moors national park.

In a brief to the architects (2008 Stirling prizewinners Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios), the nuns stated their vision for their new premises. In addition to being sensitive to environmental concerns, a monastery for women should "contain some natural curved surfaces and shapes".

The new building will allow them to live simply. There will be broadband-ready bedrooms for up to 30 nuns, a church, library and ancillary buildings. It also incorporates a retreat for up to 15 guests as hospitality is common to Benedictine traditions. The nuns will be in harmony with the heritage of their surroundings, studded with the ruins of Whitby, Rievaulx and Byland abbeys and Mount Grace Priory. "We are supposed to love creation and respect the environment. We're living in and taking care of it," said Dame Andrea Savage, the abbess at Stanbrook.

Next year the nuns will bid farewell to the Victorian splendour of Stanbrook Abbey in rural Worcestershire to live in a monastery with rainwater harvesting, reedbed sewage systems, sedum roofs, recycled material, a woodchip boiler and responsibly-sourced timber.

Click here for the full article.

Click here for photos - including illustrations of the new monastery.


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