AN appeal for £1.25m has been launched by church, community and mental health leaders to save a special retreat centre in North Yorkshire.

Supporters of Holy Rood House, in Sowerby near Thirsk say hundreds of people have been helped and countless lives saved through the centre's healing work.

The Revd Elizabeth Baxter, Executive Director of the centre at Holyrood House said: "The Centre currently rents Holy Rood House, and the owners now want to sell the house and its grounds to the Charity. This gives us a unique opportunity to buy it and continue helping people in their time of need.

"Over the past 25 years, Holy Rood has helped many hundreds of people, of all ages, in crisis. People like ‘Amy’, who was referred to us by her university chaplain: she had been attacked in her room and was in great distress. She did not want to inform her parents and did not feel safe at university. After three weeks with us she felt able to re-join her course and, with the support of the university, completed her degree.

“If we are not able to buy Holy Rood House, we risk losing this unique, safe space, when people feel their lives are unsafe. People who are unwell, stressed or distressed, especially those who have suffered abuse as well as carers and those living with mental health breakdown find inner calm and peace within a gentle Christian ethos."

The Rt Revd Paul Ferguson, Bishop of Whitby added: "There are people alive today who wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for Holy Rood House. It is a special place.This launch is the first practical step into Holy Rood House’s next chapter, continuing to make an impact on our whole society."

Contact the Building Into The Future Appeal,