Future plans for Church House in Carlisle

The Diocese of Carlisle – the Church of England in Cumbria – has been in detailed conversations with Carlisle Cathedral about the future use of its current diocesan administrative offices and the adjacent buildings on West Walls, the former Vicarage and Resource Centre.

Church House, CarlisleAt the end of May, the diocese will relocate from Church House on West Walls to a newly-renovated office block in Penrith, which it already owns.

The move was announced last July. Since then discussions have been ongoing with the regard to the future of Church House in Carlisle.

As part of that process, talks are now well advanced between the diocese and the Cathedral about a potential sale of the property, a former vicarage and listed buildings which have housed the Diocesan offices since 1934.

The Dean of Carlisle, the Very Rev’d Mark Boyling, said: “We have been looking at options very carefully and we are excited by some of the opportunities we see Church House can offer. In all our discussions with the diocese our priority as a Cathedral is to make sure that the property will help the mission of the Cathedral and our work to serve the city and the wider community.”

Acquiring the new property means that the Cathedral will be able to offer accommodation for its organ scholar and for up to three choral scholars each year. All these scholars – who are likely to be in a gap year or post graduate year – will add strength and capacity to the music department and its outreach into the community.

At the same time, the Cathedral’s intention is to relocate its office work into the Church House building and so release the present office building for conversion into apartments within the Cathedral precinct.

The Dean of Carlisle, The Very Rev'd Mark BoylingThe Dean added: “We will also be pleased to be the new landlord for the United Reformed Church which now leases the former Resources Centre. The URC is a valued neighbour and we already work with them on different projects.

“The former Vicarage poses the greatest challenge. The cost of refurbishment and conversion into very attractive residential apartments will be high but a way is being explored that we hope will make this possible.”

The Rev’d Martin Jayne, Chair of the Carlisle Diocesan Board of Finance, said: “Understandably we have very close relations with the Cathedral and it would be wonderful if the Cathedral could use Church House to further enhance its mission and ministry to the community.”

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For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager on 07469 153658, 01228 815401 or at communications@carlislediocese.org.uk.