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Berry HouseIn 1985, the "Celebration" element that had been separated out from Post Green was invited by the then Bishop of Southwark, Ronnie Bowlby, to establish a community in his diocese. In 1986 this was achieved with the purchase of Berry House, near Redhill, close to London's Gatwick Airport. Unlike the earlier Celebration communities, which at their peak numbered in excess of 100 members, the Berry House Community was a small group whose members primarily worked in secular employment. Berry House also became the registered office of CCCT.

The Community continued the Celebration ministry locally, with conferences, teaching and worship ministry, counselling, spiritual direction and therapy. It also published a magazine, Kairos. However, although there were some small business ventures, such as retail mail order book distribution and screen printing puppets, the need to buy or rent property made it imperative to derive the bulk of income from outside employment. The Community did not have the resources to sustain ministry, or ministry business-related activities, on the scale operated by previous communities.

Nevertheless, in various ways - by providing counselling and spiritual direction services, taking employment with the diocese, becoming ordained priest - the Community was successful in establishing a diocesan presence. This fitted with the main focus of the post-1985 communities: establishing the Community of Celebration as a form of religious order. In the mid-1990s, much time was spent in conjunction with the Community at Aliquippa in finalising a constitution and Rule of Life for member communities of the Society (SCC). In 1996, four Chapter members took life vows along with members of the Aliquippa Community.

For various reasons, the Berry House Community was disbanded in 1998, the vowed members being incorporated into the Community at Aliquippa. Because of its history in Britain, a decision was made to keep vowed members living in Britain "on detached service", whose task is to represent the Community and continue administration of the Trust. The primary goal of CCCT continues to be to support the life and witness of the Community of Celebration in Britain. Members living in Britain are in regular contact with the parent Community, and visit frequently.

A common mealA common meal at Berry House. Small communities made it possible to share a meal together in a more intimate setting.


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