Amazing variety at Christian conference centre
An amazing variety of groups have stayed at the Belsey Bridge Christian conference centre, on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, over the past few months, including church retreats, schools and youth groups, private functions, art, quilting, writing and music groups.
Belsey Bridge is part of the Christian Conference Trust which also operates large conference centres at High Leigh in Hertfordshire and The Hayes in Derbyshire, according to Business Development Manager, Zofia Fronek.
“We operate the three centres as one organisation, however they are found in different locations across Britain and each has its own particular character. Many churches across Britain use our centres for their retreats and weekends away, as well as many of the dioceses who bring their clergy retreats. As well as this, all three centres are used by a huge number of groups of all sizes, engaging in everything from creative writing to quilting, choir practice to calligraphy,” she said.
“The variety of groups using our centres is truly astounding,” said Zofia. “It’s fascinating to see the diversity of clubs, societies, schools, businesses and churches coming for all sorts of reasons to enjoy the hospitality that CCT offers, whether this is for a day conference or a residential stay.”
“Whether you are coming alone for bed and breakfast or organising an event and bringing 400 people, we can cater for your specific needs. Meeting rooms of varying size and character are available in each of the centres, and we offer both en-suite and non en-suite accommodation in a variety of room types at all of the centres as well. The three venues are all set in large grounds, safe for our younger visitors and also providing ample opportunity for privacy, creativity and fun.
What do guests say about Belsey Bridge?
Belsey Bridge has hosted St Louis Middle School’s music retreat for more than 20 years. They bring students of different ages, this year grades 5 and 8, for several days of composition and fun with music. The event is led by a dedicated team of music teachers who help them to discover and develop their talents, and finishes off with an inspiring theme-based final performance on their final day.
“They come with their instruments, brains and talent .… nothing else,” said one St Louis staff member. They learn to improvise and to have fun creating music from scratch. Many of them have not been away from home before, and this experience gives them a sense of freedom in a safe environment and an ambience very conducive to creativity. Where else can you go with a large group of children and allow them to make music all day?
“Why do we come again and again? Well, we are incredibly well-looked after and well-fed. The centre staff are very accommodating and welcoming. To anyone thinking of coming with a group, I would simply say ‘don’t hesitate’.”
The Scrap Happy Quilters (pictured top) are another group of satisfied customers. Caroline Millsted said: “We are a bunch of quilters that come to finish projects and also to start new ones. We learn from each other and have a good time together.
“I’ve never been told ‘no’ to any request that I’ve had of the Belsey Bridge staff. It’s restful and serene. We like the home-cooked food, which is made to our requirements. The staff are brilliant, there’s a friendly atmosphere. We use a lovely light meeting room (Suffolk Hall), and rate it 10 out of 10!”
Amanda Williams from the Norwich Historical Dance, said: “We meet to learn and then perform historical dances from the medieval period onwards. The group has been running for 17 years, it started as an evening class in 1983. We do residential weekends, where we learn dances from a particular period. We have dance sessions, and also one afternoon free to enjoy the countryside around the centre.
The Suffolk Hall is bright and welcoming, It’s not far to travel for us and we are looked after so well. The staff are lovely. We’re coming back next year!”
Read more about Belsey Bridge on this site