The story of the Christian Mountain Centre began in 1964.
Mike Perrin, a Baptist Minister, was the minister of a church in Suffolk, when he and his wife Elaine heard the call from God to move to the mountains of Eryri and set up The Christian Mountain Centre. His passion for the mountains and desire to share this with others, combined with his ministry and faith, led him and his family on a venture that laid the foundations of a thriving Christian Outdoor Centre which continues to fulfil the very same vision and mission today.
Below is a summary through the years of The Christian Mountain Centre, from when it began to where it is now.
In a search to find somewhere to take a small group of young people from Suffolk to the mountains, Mike came across “Hafod Lwyfog”, a 16th century farmhouse that would be possible to lease. Through leasing this farmhouse, Mike met many wonderful people, and he began to see the potential for a Christian Outdoor Centre in North Wales.
“Could there be a place for such a centre run by Christians, who were sufficiently competent in mountain skills to safely oversee and instruct others, and at the same time, by their testimony and from their own experience of Christ, be able to share their faith with them?” (The Lord’s Doing, Mike Perrin)
In June 1965, Mike and Elaine brought 6 young people from Suffolk to Hafod Lwyfog. It was this residential that showed Mike and Elaine the “concept and potential value of a residential centre that sought to reach young people with the Christian message in the context of the hills and a programme of mountain activities.”(The Lord’s Doing)
The impact of the time away in the mountains upon the young people was apparent. The young people had experienced Christ in a different way in the mountains, and other pastors known to Mike and Elaine were asking if they could organise another residential for their young people, “a request that only served to increase our desire to see a Christian residential centre in Snowdonia established.” (The Lord’s Doing)
Mike and Elaine moved to Beddgelert in November 1965.
The Mountain Leadership Training Board had just set up, and the Mountain Leadership Certificate (MLC), a course designed to improve leadership in the mountains, was a newly established qualification which will soon become essential for those wishing to take responsibility for groups in the hills.
Mike went on the third ever MLC ‘Introductory Course’ at Plas Y Brenin, the National Mountain Centre just 4 days after he had moved to Wales. The Plas Y Brenin staff were encouraging about Mikes venture of setting up an independent outdoor centre with a Christian base, and the Director at the time later encouraged Mike to hold ‘Introductory MLC’ courses on behalf of the Mountain Leadership Training Board at the Christian Mountain Centre – something that only well run and reputable centres were invited to do.
The Perrins were able to move into ‘Hafod Wydyr’ in December 1965, a delightful Welsh farmhouse they were renting beside the Afon Colwyn. This was where the first guests of the Christian Mountain Centre would stay.