Plea for people to book church at restored Dominican priory
The new owners of a former Dominican priory are raising awareness of an under-used church on the site – calling for more people to use the building for weddings, funerals and community events.
Hawkesyard Priory in Armitage, Staffordshire, served in the past as a Roman Catholic conference centre, with the hall, church and grounds owned by the Dominican Order, but had closed in the early 1990s after falling into disrepair.
Now, after restoration work helped revive the priory thanks to a nursing home on the grounds of the friars’ living quarters and the establishment of the estate as a wedding and events venue, the new owners are keen to keep the historic name of the Priory Church of St Thomas going.
William Forrester and Jo Coles took over the priory on June 26 and William said they felt the church needed to be used on a more regular basis by the public.
He said: “We felt a moral burden to open up the church for the public to use on a more regular basis.
“It is a church that holds a lot of history as it was owned by the monks and they hand-carved a lot of the church.
“We want to encourage more interest in the church in the area and, as a result, ensure it is used for weddings and other services.”
Work is continuing on the church, which has been used by all diocesan bishops of the Old Catholic Church in the United Kingdom as their provincial cathedral, with a new boiler being installed in August.
For more information and bookings, visit www.hawkesyardestate.com/