In need of peace and solitude? Controversial priest sets up yurt to help soothe souls in Sunderland

Rev. Chris Howson in the yurt especailly made for Sunderland Minster.
Rev. Chris Howson in the yurt especailly made for Sunderland Minster.
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A NEW idea has been pitched to offer people a place to find peace and quiet.

Sunderland Minster has put up a traditional highland tent – called a yurt – for those who are in search of solitude.

Rev. Chris Howson in the Yurt especailly made for Sunderland Minster.

Rev. Chris Howson in the Yurt especailly made for Sunderland Minster.

The tent, commissioned for the minister, took three months for designer Paul Spence to make, and two hours to pitch.

Reverend Chris Howson, who backed the bid to have the prayer tent made, said it is another selling point for the landmark, with the minister the only one in the country to offer such a space.

“It’s another first for Sunderland,” said Rev Dowson, who is also chaplain of Sunderland University.

“It fits snugly into the Minster and it’s a beautiful place for quiet reflection.

“We wanted to create a private place within the minster where people could come for prayer and meditation, or some quiet time where they can have some space from the city, and this is perfect for that.

“Paul Spence made it with great love and care – it is beautiful.”

The yurt, commissioned following the use of one at Easter, was paid for by a social enterprise fund from the university and can be hired out. Services using the tent run every Sunday at 6pm, from September 15.

Canon at Sunderland Minster, Shiela Bamber, said: “Everyone is hugely excited about the yurt project because it provides a different space within the minster for people to reflect and seek solitude.”

The yurt, which originates from Mongolia and was traditionally used as a place for families to congregate and for celebrations, can fit 26 people in sitting on chairs, or primary school classes of 35 pupils.