By David Browne
THE Wood Hall pastoral centre in Yorkshire may close next month if a plan to accommodate Vietnamese refugees goes ahead, The house near Wetherby has been offered by Bishop Gordon Wheeler of Leeds to the Ockenden Venture which is helping with resettling the refugees. The warden of the Wood Hall centre, Mgr Gerard Spelman, said that a firm offer had been made, but nothing more had been decided. No date had been fixed for the handover, and the whole matter was still being discussed, A spokesman for the diocese of Leeds said that if the plan does go ahead, then booking for courses and retreats at Wood Hall would be transferred to other centres, including Hazlewood and Ilkley in the Leeds diocese.
The refugee project would involve the whole of the Wood Hall centre, and there was no possibility of continuing courses there under the new proposals, the spokesman said.
It is understood that the proposals will be the subject of a pastoral letter from Bishop Wheeler, probably at the beginning of November.
Miss Joyce Pearce, director of the Ockenden Venture, said: "It is a wonderful gesture and we are very grateful. If all goes well, we hope to be able to take up the offer some time in November."
The Ockenden Venture is one of three resettlement agencies,