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History & Purpose

Almost 50 years ago a stately home in Derbyshire was used rent-free on a short term lease to provide a residential training base for mission work in Ireland. It was here that the first of numerous conference centres was set up. Cloverley Hall itself became the Headquarters of the mission in 1968 as the lease in Derbyshire was coming to an end. Cloverley Hall had been a Christian Boys school forced to close and the School Governors wanted the Trust's property to remain in Christian hands. The Committee Members of the mission became the Trustees of Cloverley Hall Ltd and so acquired the freehold and access rights across the surrounding Estate. The Quinta estate, which had always had Christian associations, was acquired (again in a remarkable way) in 1985, and the lease on Castlewellan was taken on in 1974.

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The name was changed to Centre Ministries in 2007 to better reflect the more diverse nature of our work.

We exist to serve all people especially through churches and organisations from our constituency. The objectives of our charity lead us to expect our visitors, while using our centres, to refrain from promoting theological and ethical views or engaging in behaviour that would be in conflict with the Christian Biblical perspectives to which we aspire. Our record of welcoming people and handling our Christian identity appropriately is appreciated and valued as an asset to the totality of the experience we offer.

For example, schools traditionally find the environment we provide to be trustworthy, safe, secure and ideal in fulfilling their objectives for residential experiences. Alongside all the educational and activity resources we can provide, they welcome the contribution we make to their programmes from our Christian perspective to meeting their educational objectives in Personal, Social and Religious Education. One of the more long-standing user Schools is from London and contains a very high proportion of Muslim and Hindu children.


Ambition

We are hoping to finalize the sale of Herne Bay Court (a centre closed in 2008) very soon. The sale has been delayed in the adverse economic climate and through a desire to find an alternative Christian use for the property, but will release funds for us to put back into the work of the centres. We are totally committed to moving forward in service. We are prepared to invest in our centres to keep them relevant and helpful - a vibrant tool for church growth and mission.

Charities are always walking a fine line between viability and sustainability on the one hand and making our centres financially accessible on the other. We are keen to be good stewards of our resources - for example we have recently installed biomass heating at Castlewellan.

We want to work with other agencies and those who use our facilities - to listen, to talk and to respond appropriately. We are always keen to hear from people of like mind who want to develop their ministry by using the Christian residential experience more effectively. Talk to us! Share your goals and allow us to not just ‘put a roof over your head’, but to truly accommodate and amplify the finer details of your ministry and mission. For those who can see the value in working in formal or informal partnerships, we would invite you to pick up the phone, or e-mail us and start the conversation. We are not afraid to think ‘outside the box’ but wish to glorify God in our ministry and to seek to follow where He is leading.

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The Dove Logo

The dove featured in our logo occurs right through the Bible from being one of the first creatures mentioned by name, through one of the creatures used by the poor in Jewish sacrifices, to being the New Testament symbol of the Holy Spirit of God. The dove therefore reminds us of the creative passion and love of God; peace, restoration and reconciliation; vulnerability, sacrifice and suffering and, finally, the transforming presence of God's Spirit in our lives. It is our prayer that Centre Ministries can continue to serve the Church by providing centres where these truths and emotions are encountered and the presence of the Dove is desired.

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