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Monks launch bid to restore quarry

A monastic order is seeking to spend ?500,000 on restoring a religious retreat in Mirfield, near West Yorkshire in the UK. The retreat includes a former quarry site.
The Quarry Theatre at the Community of the Resurrection, a natural amphitheatre in the community?s 20-acre grounds, was created when stone was quarried to build a house.
The quarry was turned into a theatre and as many as 6000 people would come to see plays and performances. Mirfield-born Hollywood actor Sir Patrick Stewart had his first stage experience there and the leader of the British suffragette movement Emmeline Pankhurst also spoke on that stage.
In the 1970s, the community closed the theatre and it became overgrown. However, the stonework remains intact. Now the community?s general manager Guy Laurie plans to restore the theatre and reopen it to professional companies and the local community. Applications have been submitted and volunteers have started to clear trees and vegetation.
Laurie said the plans had received widespread support, including from Kirklees Council. ?We made contact with many local groups to see if there was a genuine interest in bringing the theatre back to a working life,? he said. 
Retreat superior Father George Guiver held a presentation for community and business leaders aimed at generating interest in the project.
The Community of Resurrection is home to 18 monks, 30 resident students and a retreat house, which can accommodate up to 50 people.
?The open air theatre, Greek-style almost, was last used for a performance in 1976 before being abandoned. This could be a really remarkable facility for Mirfield and we want to invite the community back,? said Father Guiver.
Source: Huddersfield Examiner (UK)

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