Keswick Convention 2023

Image courtesy of A Wilder.

Keswick Convention, the oldest Christian conference in the UK, began in a tent in the vicarage garden of St John’s Church, Keswick. It has grown into today’s annual ‘convention’ that welcomes 12,000 people a year over 3 weeks of Bible teaching and celebration in the beautiful Lake District.

We were there at Week 3, staying in our caravan, seeing relatives and friends, and even bumping into a family from St Luke’s! The teaching was on the theme of being human – what’s our identity in Christ, bought at a price, given wholeness and purpose.

The conference’s aim is to help us to hear God’s voice in the Bible, become more like Jesus and to go out serving Him in His mission to friends, neighbours and further afield.

The week provided such rich teaching from the Bible and we loved learning new hymns. For me, this was also spiritually significant as I’m preparing for reader training beginning this month. I struggled a bit in the first few days but became overwhelmed by God’s care and interest despite failures and hurts. I felt healed, restored and refreshed and was given a fresh perspective as Genesis 1–9 and Hebrews 1–4 were opened up to us each day in the morning Bible readings and evening celebrations. The teaching was summed up in these words from a newish hymn:

Creator God, who shaped the earth and heavens
Your glory shines in all that you have made…

And who am I, the lowliest of sinners
That you would pay the price my sin deserves…

And who are we, that you would call us children
And raise us up from death to life with you…. (© Ben Slee 2017)

The convention talks are available on YouTube – just search for Keswick Convention 2023 Week 3. I’d highly recommend listening to them, particularly Ivor Poobalan’s five talks on Genesis!