2018 Convention

A packed programme of events, speakers and music made Keswick Convention 2018 a huge success with people coming together from far and wide to share in vibrant worship and help to serve God’s mission. 

To enjoy a flavour of last year’s event and give you an idea of what you can expect from attending this year, here is a programme overview of the three-week Convention, which was enjoyed by and inspired thousands of Christians. 

Last year’s theme was SENT: Serving God’s Mission. 

From its earliest days, Christian mission has been a core value in the annual Keswick Convention. It began humbly in 1885 with a prayer meeting, but interest grew and, in 1887, the Convention held its first official missionary meeting at which Hudson Taylor of OMF was the speaker.

 Over the years hundreds of young people responded, indicating their willingness to serve the Lord wherever he called them. Today emphasis is no longer exclusively on young people who want to serve in missions, but on believers of all ages and stages of their Christian lives.  

Our convictions about the uniqueness of Jesus Christ and his exclusive claims remain as strong as ever, as do our convictions about the centrality in mission of the proclamation of the gospel. At Keswick 2018, as God’s Word was opened, we saw His heart for a lost and broken world. It was our prayer that, by His Spirit, He would encourage, build up, and envision us, so we headed away from Keswick not just having heard His command but also knowing His power and longing to obey. 

2018 Convention Programme

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 1

The opening week of last year’s Convention included a host of respected speakers and Bible readers covering a number of subjects and themes.

The morning Bible reader was Christopher Ash, Writer-in-Residence at Tyndale House, Cambridge. After thirteen years in secular work, he has been a local church pastor, and Director of the Cornhill Training Course.

Among the many others contributing to the programme was Tim Chester, pastor with Grace Church Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire, a faculty member of Crosslands Training and chair of Keswick Ministries; Tom Putt, Associate Minister of St John’s and St Andrew’s in Yeovil, Somerset; Michael Harvey, who has spoken to thousands of Christians in his seminars and is author of the books, Unlocking the Growth and Culture of Invitation; Revd James Robson, Ministry Director for Keswick Ministries and Richard Dannatt, the professional head of the British Army and President of Help for Heroes.

Other speakers included Phil Moore, Jonathan Clarke, Ben Cooper, Alasdair Paine, Steve Brady, Martin Erwin, Louise Morse, Mel Lacy, Ben Cooper and Christopher Chia.

Music was led by Colin Webster, originally from Stonehaven in Scotland, who has been serving as a minister and evangelist at Cornerstone Church, Nottingham, for 20 years.

Seminars included a series on our home as the sphere of mission and ministry: Louise Morse helping us see why God created old age on purpose and Mel Lacy focusing on the family; Ben Cooper helping us see Matthew’s Gospel as Missionary Training in our School of Biblical Studies; Chris Chia giving seminars on “Going the Distance” in ministry service. Martin Erwin and friends from London City Mission helped us see this country as our ‘mission field’ and General the Lord Dannatt considered leadership with the title Sent to the front line: Leadership in a complex world.

Evening celebrations saw a series on Isaiah 40-55, chapters that help us have a fresh vision of God and His work. Programme and speakers included Tim Chester, Alasdair Paine and Tom Putt:

  • Saturday: God’s Comfort (Isaiah 40:1-11), Tim Chester
  • Sunday: God’s Dependability (Isaiah 40:12-31), James Robson
  • Monday: God’s Remedy (Isaiah 42:1-9), Chris Chia
  • Tuesday: God’s Summons (Isaiah 45:14-25), Steve Brady
  • Wednesday: God’s Suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-53:12), Alasdair Paine
  • Thursday: God’s Heart for the World (Isaiah 49:1-13), Chris Chia
  • Friday: God’s Invitation (Isaiah 55:1-13), Tom Putt
Week 2

Morning Bible reader speaking about the book of Micah was Chris Wright, International Ministries Director of Langham Partnership, which provides literature, scholarships and preaching training for Majority World pastors and seminaries. His books include Old Testament Ethics for the People of God; The Mission of God; The God I Don’t Understand; and The Mission of God’s People.

Other speakers included Andrew Warren, a primary headteacher for 17 years and an Assistant Director of Education, who leads a teaching school; Joelle Warren, a former city banker, chairman of Cheshire Community Foundation and co-author of Setting God’s People Free; Peter Maiden, International Director Emeritus, who serves Keswick Ministries as minister-at-large; Graham Daniels, a Director of Cambridge United Football Club and Rodgers Emmy Atwebembeire, Pastor of New City Community Church, a reformed Presbyterian Church in Uganda’s capital, Kampala.

Others contributing to the programme were Tim Chester, Mel Lacy, Jonathan Lamb, Peter Maiden, Martin Salter and Matthew Skirton.

Music was led by Stuart Townend, gifted worship leader, musician, recording artist and seminar speaker.

In the evening celebrations, there was a series on Paul the Missionary. Rodgers Atwebembeire, Graham Daniels, Matthew Skirton (from Operation Mobilisation) and Martin Salter, who helped to lead the youth work, joined us.

    • Saturday: Paul the Missionary Commissioned (Acts 9:1-22) Jonathan Lamb
    • Sunday: Paul the Missionary: Confident (Acts 13:13-41) Rodgers Atwebembeire
    • Monday: Paul the Missionary Courageous (Acts 14:21-28) Graham Daniels
    • Tuesday: Paul the Missionary Confronting (Acts 16:11-40) Martin Salter
    • Wednesday: Paul the Missionary Contesting (Acts 17:16-34) Rodgers Atwebembeire
    • Thursday: Paul the Missionary Continuing (Acts 18:1-11) Matthew Skirton
    • Friday: Paul the Missionary Completing (Acts 20:17-35) Martin Salter

The actress and author Sophie Neville from Swallows and Amazons volunteered at the Bible Society stand at Base Camp during the convention, and also gave a talk on the making of the original movie, at the Alhambra Cinema in Keswick. Sophie played Titty in the nationally cherished, 1974 version of the film (adapted from Arthur Ransome’s book).

Week 3

In the final week of the 2018 Convention, David Cook, who has been training preachers in the UK and Malaysia, was the Bible Reading Speaker on the book of Acts.

Other speakers included Richard Borgonon who was in the insurance market for 44 years and now speaks internationally as to how every Christian can put the gospel back at the centre of evangelism; Simon Barrington, who was former chief executive of Samaritan’s Purse UK; Krish Kandiah, executive director: England/Churches in Mission’ for the Evangelical Alliance; Jonty Allcock, pastor of The Globe Church in London and Jonathan Lamb, minister-at-large for Keswick Ministries.

In the seminars, Ramez and Rebecca Atallah inspired and challenged us with stories of the church in Egypt; Richard Borgonon took us into John’s Gospel; Ed Shaw from Living Out helped us reflect on the Gospel and same-sex attraction; Simon Barrington and Krish Kandiah focused on being sent to lead and being sent to the public square, and Elaine Storkey gave a lecture on Scars across Humanity: Understanding and Overcoming Violence against Women.

Music was led by Alanna Glover & Philip Percival, of Emu Music, which was established in Sydney, Australia and now based in Oxford. It has a global ministry, teaching church leaders and musicians about a Biblical approach to singing.

Evening celebrations involved spending time in the joyful and gospel-focused letter of Paul to the Philippians.

  • Saturday: Gospel Partners (Philippians 1:1-11), Jonathan Lamb
  • Sunday: Gospel Mindset (Philippians 1:12-30), Rames and Rebecca Ataliah
  • Monday: Gospel Humility (Philippians 2:1-11), James Robson
  • Tuesday: Gospel ‘Stars’ (Philippians 2:12-30), Derek Burnside
  • Wednesday: Gospel Treasure (Philippians 3:1-11), Jonty Allcock, (with communion)
  • Thursday: Gospel Hope (Philippians 3:12-4:3), Ramez and Rebecca Ataliah
  • Friday: Gospel Contentment (Philippians 4:4-23), Jonty Allcock

Our creative arts track, Keswick Unconventional, explored the Word of God through music, drama and comedy. Singer songwriters Yvonne and David Lyon, and Paul Bell as well as writer Stewart Henderson were among those who took to the stage at St John’s Church. Comedy duo Harry and Chris, also took part in the KU Night Shift programme.

Last year, KU also explored current issues of refugees, sexual harassment, earth care and fostering. Attitudes to fostering and adoption, key issues in Cumbria, impact the fabric of society and the programme organisers extended a warm welcome to all who would like to hear more about the difference caring for children can make.

Global Village 2018

For the first time ever, the Global Village experience came to Keswick as part of the Convention, highlighting the difficult situations millions of people around the world find themselves in and how the good news of Christ can make a difference.
The experience, in a marquee, used a multi-sensory experience and employed actors to bring to life the severe conditions many people live in and challenge participants in their response to a divided world. 

Don't miss out on Keswick Convention 2019!

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