Nuns won’t be silenced over abbey homes plan
THEIR days are filled with silent prayer and peaceful contemplation.
But a community of nuns claim their way of life is at risk from plans to build a housing estate next to their ancient abbey.
Developer Bellway is seeking permission for up to 65 homes on land opposite Malling Abbey in Kent. Founded in around 1090, the abbey is home to around a dozen Benedictine nuns aged from 35 to 95.
‘Their whole way of life is built around isolated prayer and peace and quiet,’ said David Green, vicar of St Mary’s in West Malling. ‘They are being asked to effectively tolerate an enormous building site and a significant number of homes that will increase traffic and cause noise.’
He said a section of the grounds was also rented by a Christian charity that provides refuge for the homeless, recovering addicts and domestic violence victims.
Trudy Dean, chairman of West Malling council, said: ‘The whole community has come together to support the nuns against this highly-intrusive plan.’
Bellway said there was a need for more homes and the development would not intrude on the abbey. A public inquiry is due to start on August 20.