From the “Mirfield Reporter”

Published 11 February, 2005

Community ends 'Commem Day'

A THING OF THE PAST: Visitors take Holy Communion at the Community of the Resurrection's Commem-oration Day.

MIRFIELD'S Community of the Resurrection has been forced to end an almost century-long tradition of having an annual open day because of spiralling costs.

Commemoration Day at the Battyeford community drew thousands of Anglicans to the town from all over the country. Held on the second Saturday in July since the days of the First World War, it featured an open air Solemn Mass in a huge marquee on the lawn in front of the monastery.

Fr George Guiver, the community's Superior , told the Reporter this week: "The costs have soared astronomically, health and safety requirements are more demanding and numbers have been going down in recent years. "We came to realise that we could not manage it. Last time there were a few complaints as we stopped having a marquee because it cost us several thousands and we couldn't afford it. We wanted to go out with a bang rather than a whimper."

Commemoration Day began as a simple tea party in the early 20th century to commemorate the opening of the adjacent college where priests are trained. Coach loads of people made the journey from as far as Scotland to join Mirfield people at the Community's 19-acre site.

Fr Guiver said: "We do very much regret the decision and we know people will be sad about it, perhaps even angry but we are not just pulling out. We are looking at doing a series of smaller events. "The original idea was that we would share with people something of our life here in the community. In recent years we have felt buried under it all and people haven't really been seeing what our life here is like." He said they were looking at a number of alternative possibilities, including opening services up to the public for the first time ever.