At the end of July, a group of 26 from St Luke’s attended the New Wine Christian Festival 2023, held at the Kent Event Centre in Detling, near Maidstone.
A few of us camped but most of us, including myself, stayed off site in hotels and B&Bs.
New Wine has an extensive programme of activities, workshops and worship for families, individuals, children and youth.
On the first night, after dinner together, we all headed down to the massive main arena tent for welcoming, introductions, prayers, sermons and the amazing worship music. There was a large crèche and children’s area at the back of the arena with volunteers on hand to look after the children while their parents joined in with the evening worship. Large screens to the sides and back were erected for those who couldn’t see the stage properly. For me, with the great lighting and amazing sound, it was more like a rock concert atmosphere but with the presence of God.
During the evening the speaker encouraged anyone who wanted prayer to come forward to pray with the volunteer prayer team. The men prayed for the men and the women prayed for the women. All I can say is that receiving prayer in that environment is very powerful!
During the day, we were free to visit numerous venues in the village area to listen to talks on subjects such as Climate change, Persecution, The cost of living crisis, Transforming lives for good, Mental health, Faith and evangelism, Sexuality, Answering tough questions about your faith and my favourite: How to talk about Jesus without sounding weird! Each talk considered how these subjects affect us as Christians in today’s world. Most talks ended with a Q&A session.
What I got out of New Wine was deep spiritual nourishment which has strengthened me and put me on the next path of my journey of faith. I would say New Wine has been a Christian crash course which I feel has propelled me forward in learning about our Father God – slowly taking the focus off myself and fixing my eyes on Him.
Would I go again? Yes, 100%! But next year I’ll be camping on site!
If you haven’t been before, I highly recommend attending and hope to see you there in 2024! You won’t be disappointed. For more information visit www.new-wine.org.