Hermits told to leave UK presbytery after complaints

Three hermits have been asked to leave an English presbytery after complaints about the behaviour of one of them who campaigns against homosexuality.

The self-styled “Black Hermits” say they have been told they have until July 20 to leave the presbytery at St Patrick’s, Millais Road, Corby, in Northampton diocese.

One of the members, Br Damon Kelly, has been arrested 10 times, had a bucket of water thrown over him and has been pushed over in the street.

He has travelled throughout the United Kingdom giving out leaflets condemning homosexuality and abortion.

Despite his arrests he has refused to stop putting leaflets through people’s letterboxes, which, in some cases, may involve entering private property.

He told the Church Militant website: “At first I agreed to do no more leafleting.”

“But I’ve wrestled with it, I’ve sought spiritual counsel. And I’ve decided I have to obey God’s law and not the state’s law.”

Br Damon has been charged with harassment over two pamphlets.

He is reported to be due in Leicester Magistrates court on May 18.

If convicted he could receive a prison sentence.

The hermits – two brothers and one sister – claim the Bishop of Northampton, Peter Doyle, says they have brought him and the diocese into disrepute.

Bishop Doyle told The Tablet he understood that any communication between him and the hermits “would remain private”.

The bishop reportedly invited the hermits to live in the presbytery four years ago, said the group’s founder, former Capuchin novice master, Fr Stephen Joseph de Kerdrel.

Fr de Kerdrel said: “[The bishop] invited us into the diocese which was very kind of him.

“It’s all very sad because it started off so well . . . The last thing we want to do is make the bishop’s life difficult.”

Members of the Black Hermits reportedly make personal vows to their bishop.

One of the hermits, Sr Collette Farrell-Roberts, wrote on their website last week: “We do not have anywhere to go  . . .  we just need somewhere for our cats!”


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