New managers at Dales Christian centre

A Dales Christian accommodation provider is now under new leadership.

The Jonas Centre in Redmire has been taken over by couple Sebastian Rab and Rachael Cheesman, who have moved to the area to take up their roles.

They succeed Simon Eastwood who managed the centre for nearly 20 years as centre director and they will take on the newly created roles of CEO and operations manager.

The centre, which is tucked away in the heart of Wensleydale, provides accommodation made up of 12 self-catered log cabins and conference facilities for church and Christian ministry retreats. The cabins are also available for subsidised breaks and respite for carers and vulnerable adults and children.

Sebastian brings with him a wealth of experience having worked for a number of churches and a nationwide charity and is excited to be taking the Christian venue into its next phase.

He said: ‘We’re so pleased to be joining the amazing team at The Jonas Centre. The centre’s history speaks of God’s faithfulness, and we’re eager to see what he might do in this next chapter.’

Simon Eastwood, who is moving on to focus on community initiatives in and around the Colburn area, added: “It’s been a very different career to working for Lloyds Bank and the Church Commissioners with no two days ever the same. So many memories, but the ones that stay with me will be where I have seen lives changed, relationships healed and families growing closer together.

“I could not have done the job without the support of my best friend and wife Jo-Ann who has sacrificed much over these last two decades to enable me to carry out this role along with encouragement from our sons Isaac and Theo.”

Operations manager Rachael who has a charity background and has valuable experience working with society’s most vulnerable, added: ‘Our new roles at the Jonas Centre are an amazing opportunity to be part of cultivating a space in which people can experience the beauty and goodness of God. We feel so blessed to have joined the amazing team here.’

The centre has provided a safe space for many over the years, including several homeless people who stayed during the pandemic.

Over the past four years, nine cabins have been refurbished using the generous donations of individuals and organisations locally and around the country.