Fancy a week in the life of a monk

A COMMUNITY of monks is opening its doors to people who want to try out the monastic life.

The Community of the Resurrection is holding the week-long event called Wisdom for 21st Century Living.

Oswin Gartside, a brother at the Mirfield monastery, said: "Our way of life isn't one that's shut off from the world. We have something to offer to people in their daily lives, to help with the problems and challenges they face.

"We are particularly aiming for single men of working age, and of Christian faith.

"They will come and live with us for a week and that will mean taking part in our life, times of silence and prayer, and singing. "We celebrate Eucharist every day and they will take part in that.

"They will take part in domestic activities including gardening and washing up, and there will also be a special project.

"To many people our way of life looks very strange. There will be plenty of chance for discussion of our way of life, why we think it's special, the vows we take and the practices we follow, about prayer, ageing, and truthful living.

"In the course of the week we are going on a pilgrimage for the day. This is a way of thanking God and deepening our life."

Fr Gartside said the project was only suitable for men because the monastery was a male-only community.

He said the project was inspired by television programmes about monastic life including the BBC's The Monastery, where five men spent 40 days and nights in Worth Abbey, a Catholic monastic community near London.

He said: "The project came out of recognising how striking the TV programme of the monastery was. It made striking TV and it affected the people who went to live there.

"Lots of people rang Worth Abbey asking if they could go and stay. We thought we could offer something like that."

The open week is from October 18 to 24.

The monastery is in Stocksbank Road, Mirfield. Phone 01924 483348 or email guests@mirfield.org.uk for more.