The CMS Conference Centre at Katoomba has been an important home for our community of missionaries and supporters for many years. It is a stable and treasured place of refreshment, encouragement and fellowship.
But today, over 60 years since it was opened, the Centre is in desperate need of repair.
CMS Camp MMM: In July, high schoolers in Years 7-12 spend a week in God’s word, thinking through mission and God’s plan for the world. They hear from current missionaries, pray and study the Bible together, and build friendships over meals and fun activities.
CMS Camp Milimani: For four days in the October school holidays, kids in Years 3-6 come to the Centre for Bible talks, activities and visits from missionary families. They make friends and are encouraged to think about their place in God’s global mission.
The leadership of CMS across the country gather together over a weekend to review and discuss strategies and policies, and make decisions that concern the CMS fellowship.
Every June and December, the missionaries who are in Australia for Home Assignment at the time, gather in Katoomba for three or four days of fellowship and refreshment.
They hear God’s word preached in their heart language, they laugh, rejoice and cry together as they share stories from location, and their children enjoy activities and Bible studies with other missionary kids.
Many churches stay at the Centre for their church weekend away. It is valued as a place to grow as disciples of Jesus in close community – sharing meals, studying the Bible and experiencing God’s creation together.
CMS Summer School is held every January at the nearby Katoomba Convention Centre. The Conference Centre is used for accommodation, as a venue for missionary sessions, and for community mealtimes for missionaries.
In December we also bring together all the NSW & ACT missionaries at the Centre to plan and prepare for their sessions at Summer School.
With its proximity to some key tourist attractions such as Scenic World, bushwalks and other educational opportunities, many schools and other groups enjoy staying at the Centre, often returning on a regular basis.
“When Jodi and I were serving as long-term missionaries in Spain, we loved coming back to the Centre – for Missionary Conferences, Summer School, kids and youth camps and Summer School planning weekends. It was a familiar, friendly and safe place for our family amid the constant changes and transitions that accompanied Home Assignment.”
John Lovell, Executive Director, CMS NSW & ACT
The CMS Conference Centre is now over 60 years old. The CMS NSW & ACT Board has prayed and carefully considered how to address the ongoing maintenance and repair issues at the Centre. We believe that renovating the existing buildings is the most strategic solution to ensure that we can faithfully steward this resource into the future.
The plans submitted to Blue Mountains City Council involve adding a new meeting room, reconfiguring the bedrooms to add ensuites, as well as upgrading the dining room, kitchen and existing meeting areas.
Renovation will ensure that the Conference Centre is fit for purpose, ready to bless future generations for the growth of God’s kingdom around the world.
“The CMS Conference Centre is my favourite home away from home. At Camp Milimani, we get to point the kids to the glory of our God in the gospel, while pointing at a small portion of his glorious creation out the window.”
Noah Gillham, Camp Milimani leader and former CMS missionary kid
We give thanks to God that he has already provided a significant proportion of the funds needed to finance the renovation of the CMS Conference Centre through two large individual gifts.
To help fund the remainder of the Project, we are inviting the CMS fellowship to prayerfully consider a generous gift during March to meet our target of $500,000.
Your gift will help enable the Centre to continue to play a strategic role in raising up, encouraging and sustaining future generations of missionaries for cross-cultural gospel ministry.
“Since my first Missionary Conference in 1988, it was always a joy to come back after years away – the view was unchanged, and friendship and fellowship could be picked up again. Now in my role as CMS Regional Mission Director I have the privilege of seeing new generations of missionaries enjoying the same atmosphere and being encouraged and restored.”
Elizabeth Richards, CMS Regional Mission Director