Christian conference centre changes hands
By Keith Morris
The Community of All Hallows
(CAH) has agreed to transfer its Conference Centre at Ditchingham
on the Norfolk/Suffolk
border to the Christian Conference Trust
(CCT) with effect from November 1
The Centre, formerly known as St. Gabriel’s, is to be re-named “Belsey Bridge Conference Centre” as it lies adjacent to the Belsey Bridge road. All existing bookings will be honoured and the staff will transfer with the Centre, ensuring continuity.
CCT is taking on the lease of Belsey Bridge for a minimal "hazelnut" rent and All Hallows is putting £100,000 into the initial launch programme and refurbishment. CCT have agreed to continuously improve and invest in the Centre over the period of their tenure, using resources generated from guest revenue.
The Christian Conference Trust already successfully runs the widely-known Conference Centres of High Leigh, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire and The Hayes, Swanwick, Derbyshire. These Centres have been progressively improved and expanded, and provide a widely-used resource to the church and the wider community.
Mother Elizabeth from CAH said: “We have built up the Conference Centre from its origin 19 years ago to the point where it provides conference facilities to a wide range of church and community groups from East Anglia and beyond.
“The Centre has gained a reputation for providing guests with a warm welcome in pleasant peaceful surroundings. The Community consider that the transfer will allow the Conference Centre to benefit from the Trust’s professional competence and experience so that it does even better in future.
“We will continue to support the Conference Centre as neighbours and in our prayers, and we are going to invest a substantial sum in a launch programme and refurbishment of the Centre by CCT. I am especially thankful to the staff who have done so much to make it the welcoming and well-run facility it is today.”
, Business Manager of the Community of All Hallows, said: “The Christian Conference Trust is a specialist provider of conference facilities with a strong reputation. We have been in discussion with the Trust over recent months and have benefitted from their help and advice in that time. The Conference Centre has an important regional role in supporting a wide range of church and community activities and I hope and believe that it will go from strength to strength as part of CCT.
"The normal minimal rent is a peppercorn, but we prefer to call it a hazelnut because that is how God showed all creation to Mother Julian."
Brian Cupples, General Manager of the Christian Conference Trust, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for us to build on the work already undertaken by the Community of All Hallows and take the Centre forward into the future, for the benefit of the whole Christian community and the wider community in the region.
“The Centre has many excellent attributes and is a secret that many churches and organisations in the surrounding area have not yet discovered. Our thanks go to the Community of All Hallows for their generosity.”