Tuesday the 13th of April

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Ed Sheeran gets green light for private prayer retreat

Pop star Ed Sheeran has been given approval to build a prayer retreat on his country estate.

The 28-year-old singer has already bought a number of properties close to Framlingham in Suffolk where he grew up.

A planning application for the construction of an outbuilding near Wynneys Hall was granted by East Suffolk Council last week.

The plans say the structure would ‘address an important need for a private place of retreat for contemplation and prayer, for celebration of key life and family milestones, family and social gatherings, marriages, christenings and so forth’.

‘It would also allow the applicant’s family, friends and colleagues to be able enjoy these things and join them in their observance,’ it adds.

Sheeran lives on the estate with his wife Cherry Seaborn, a childhood friend who he attended school with in Suffolk.

As previously reported in The Catholic Universe, Sheeran’s plans to build a private chapel at his estate in East Anglia were refused last year, with planning officers stating this was due to the ‘principle of the unsustainable form of development in the countryside’.

It said the then-proposed 48ft (14.6m) church tower would be ‘in conflict with the prevailing landscape character, creating the impression of a second village church’.

However, the new building is described in the current application as ‘novel and modern’, but designed not to conflict with the parish church of St Mary.

‘The applicant has as his guests and visiting colleagues at Wynneys Hall people from around the world,’ the application says.

‘Many of these people are from many countries, faiths and customs, including for example the USA, Ireland, Ghana, Nigeria, Asia and Australia.

‘Thus, the applicant seeks to provide a space in which he, his family and these different people can retreat for contemplation, prayer and relaxation, to meet, celebrate and meditate in peace and safety from disturbance when they visit Dennington.’

Picture: Ed Sheeran performs at BBC Radio 1’s Biggest Weekend at Singleton Park, Swansea. (Ben Birchall/PA).