The London Mennonite Trustees have resolved the complex question of where their future Centre should be. They will be moving their main ‘welcoming place of hospitality, resource, learning and vision’ to Selly Oak in Birmingham. This will be close to both the Baptists’ International Mission Centre and the Quakers’ Woodbrooke College, and both these can provide larger conference facilities in addition to the new Mennonite Centre’s own meeting room. Initially, the Mennonite Trust office will remain in London as part of an investment property, in which Will and Yvonne Newcomb will live, and Wayne and Lois Hochstetler will be based.
There will be understandable sadness about this decision from those who hoped the new Centre might remain in London, not least because of long-standing connections with Wood Green Mennonite Church. Trustees expended considerable time and effort to find a financially viable way to be based in London, but the price of suitable property with good transport links was prohibitive. However, they believe that the decision to go to Selly Oak provides the opportunity for a new phase of Mennonite and Anabaptist witness in the UK, not least because several partner organisations have already found Selly Oak a good location for conferences and training events.
Detailed property searches and negotiations in Selly Oak and London are underway, with the intention to purchase and occupy by mid-summer 2012. More news will be posted as it becomes available. Trustees are grateful to all who have prayed for their decision-making and advised them through this extensive process.
Jeremy Thomson, on behalf of LMT trustees
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