We are Centre Ministries but you won’t know us as that; you will know us as Castlewellan Castle, or The Quinta, or Cloverley Hall. You will know us as places of tranquil rest (or exuberant activity!) surrounded by the beauty of creation.
Maybe this was where you feasted on sumptuous desserts and fed on the Word of God?
Perhaps you met your friends? Your spouse? Your Saviour?
The first place you gave your testimony; or led someone to the Lord?
Where God called you back…or called you on?
Where you just stopped…and listened?
Whatever your memory, we hope you found space to grow and heard God speak into your life.
The impact of closure
Sadly, our centres have been completely closed for the past four months. There are some green shoots ahead with the reopening of the hotel sector . However, it is a very mixed picture for Christian Residential Centres like ours: Whilst the sector is allowed to reopen, it is impossible to deliver our ministry on the scale that is necessary to make the centres viable. As Government support is gradually withdrawn, the restoration of our income is painfully slow.
We have been working hard to be innovative and seek other opportunities to make use of our sites and our staff, while still engaging in ministry. We hope to enable churches to make use of our centres as family holiday ‘bubbles’ during the summer, whether through caravan capacity, small unit self-catering, or family group holidays. We still have small groups hoping to come this summer and autumn, and we trust that will grow as confidence returns to society.
However, despite all these innovations and the much appreciated Government assistance, we still expect our income across the three centres to be reduced by over £1 million this year. Our ministry has always been funded through the revenue generated by our conferencing facilities, and we are grateful that it has been possible to maintain a model of modest viability without seeking financial donations from the Christian public. Despite the Trustees’ actions in retaining appropriate reserves in the charity, these are not adequate to meet such an extended period of limited trading, and so we now face a very difficult financial situation.
How can you help?
We understand that everyone’s situation is different, so we simply present our need to you so that you can prayerfully consider how to help.
We need people to give – themselves; and to pass on news of the need to others.
We need people to come – to holiday with us; to organise mini-groups; to move back towards normal use of our centres.
We need people to pray – for our decision makers; for our staff; for our guests; for our suppliers.
We look forward to a time when our centres are full again; where new believers and seekers sit and chat into the small hours with those who have been walking with the Lord for years.
We look forward to the noises again filling our corridors – the laughter, the preaching, the singing.
We look forward to new generations experiencing what you & I have experienced in these special spaces.
We look forward to God continuing to use us and use these sites for His glory and the growth of His Kingdom.
Can you be a partner in helping us realise this ambition?