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Manchester’s Mind, Body And Spirit Festival

By Alan Vincent

Spiritual healers, clairvoyants and mediums came from all over Britain to a Manchester monastery last weekend for the Mind, Body and Spirit Festival.

Gorton monastery, nicknamed ‘Manchester’s Taj Mahal’, which has been the setting for TV star Aled Jones’ Choir of the Year and Songs of Praise attracted around 4,000 visitors over two days.

The Gothic building hosted the British School of Spiritual Knowledge promoted event which gave people the chance to talk to mediums, regress to past lives and sample alternative therapies.

Angie Simmons, the BSSK proprietor and event organiser, said: “We arrange the shows out of a belief in the subject matter and a wish to ‘give back’ by helping those involved in therapy and alternative practices.”

The festival also offered free lectures and workshops, spiritual healing, live music and a children’s treasure hunt.

The Monastery is listed alongside the Taj Mahal & the ruins of Pompeii in the 100 most endangered sites in the world by the World Monuments Fund Watch List.

“The Monastery Manchester is a registered charity and all profits are used to maintain this magnificent building,” said Caroline Quick, the monastery’s Marketing Manager.

Built between 1863 and 1872 by Franciscan monks, it was designed by Edward Pugin, whose father helped design the Houses of Parliament.

The monks left the monastery in 1989, and it was heading for ruin due to vandalism and theft until a £6.5million restoration scheme, started in 2005, saved it and restored the site.

The restoration was named top North West building project at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 2009.

Prince Charles visited the monastery in February 2007 and since June 2009 couples are even allowed to marry there.

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