We realise that the decision to change the dates for the 2018 Convention is difficult and causing some disruption. We apologise for the pressures created as a result and wholeheartedly apologise. If you would like to talk to us further, please contact us at communication@keswickministries.org or by phone at 017687 80075.

To help answer some of the more common questions on the date change please see below. We have also provided further information around accommodation.

Why did you change the dates so that the Convention begins 14th July? During the running of this summer’s Convention, the dates for next year’s event were raised at a town council meeting. It became clear that the dates we had set for 2018 had unwittingly caused great concern in the town, in particular, for certain businesses who felt that the Convention was impacting on their trade during Cumbrian peak tourist season. According to the local peak season the Convention would have taken up three out of six weeks. The dates we had set accounted for the fact that school holidays have shifted throughout England as well as the fact that the board of trustees wanted to make two weeks of the English school holiday available for families to come. As we do not pre-register attendees to the Convention, school holiday dates offer one of the few parameters to help us estimate when most Conventioners will come up to Keswick and to then make a decision on Convention dates. The dates unwittingly caused a stir in the town. It would not have been the first time that the Convention dates fall fully within the Cumbrian school holiday, so it was quite a surprise to learn of the strength of feeling by some in the town. In retrospect, we realise that more could have been done at the point when the Board of Trustees set the dates to engage members of the town and we apologise for this. Right after the town council meeting, we offered to hold a round table meeting with businesses in the town. We then also reached out to individual businesses, town councillors and others to help us fully understand the concerns raised. We have worked very closely with the mayor, town councillors, the Keswick Tourism Association (KTA) and businesses in the town to gain a better understanding of the local issues. Based on our own internal research among supporters, particularly families, and a thorough operational impact study, which takes into account previous steps taken in our planning process, we have identified, difficult, yet manageable adjustments to our current planning, which will allow us to cater for Conventioners within the newly set pattern of dates. These are that the Convention will from now 14 July – 3 August 2018.
Why did you set the original dates in the first place?  A few years back, the board of trustees expressed the desire for the Convention to include two weeks of the English* school holiday. This was so that more families could attend and so that we would not be overrun with families all in one and the same week. While we require registration for all children, this can be done on the day they join their respective kids or youth programme. We therefore rely on data provided via Local Educational Authorities to estimate when families are likely to attend. The school holidays in 2018 shifted to such an extent that all the data we collected indicated that we would have more chance of attracting families and managing numbers if week 1 of the Convention began 21 July. * All three weeks fall within the Scottish school holidays
Who will the Bible Readers be? Bible readers have now been confirmed as follows: Week 1 - Christopher Ash Week 2 - Chris Wright Week 3 - David Cook
Will accommodation providers give refunds of deposits? Indications are that many accommodation providers are very happy to change bookings. Many are also refunding deposits. Some will, however, charge an administration fee. Again, we apologise for any inconvenience caused. You can find more information about accommodation further down on this page. We recognise that this is a difficult decision and is causing disruption. We apologise for the pressures this is causing and wholeheartedly apologise. If you would like to talk to us further, please contact us at @communication@keswickministries.org or by phone at 017687 80075.
How can residents express their concerns regarding the Convention? Keswick Ministries is holding a Community drop-in every first tuesday of the month 5-6pm and every third wednesday of the month 10-11am. Please go to our web page here to sign up for a session now. In addition Keswick Ministries will hold a quarterly town council meeting, the first of which will take place November 2018.

To help with accommodation bookings and booking changes for the 2018 Convention, please note the following statements from KTA and accommodation providers in Keswick.

KTA (Keswick Tourism Association)

Many KTA members have already been in contact with their convention visitors and have managed to move people around.

KTA suggests speaking directly with the accommodation providers in the first instance to see if a simple change of dates is possible. If anyone is struggling to find accommodation for the new dates, please email info@keswick.org and the team there will be more than happy to do what they can to assist.

Accommodation Providers

Keswick Holidays:
- Are changing bookings around wherever they can. Tel.: 01768773200
Heart of the Lakes:
- "
Please contact us directly so that we can discuss their individual booking requirements. Generally we will be happy to change guests bookings or cancel and issue a full refund. We would charge an administration fee of £25 to do so." Tel.: 017687 75544

Other providers are doing their best to assist, many are returning deposits, some charging small admin fee:

• Keswick Cottages – 017687 80088

• Lakelovers – 015394 88855

• Sykes Cottages – 01244 356666

• Sallys Cottages – 017687 80571

• Cumbrian Cottages – 01228 599960

• Lakes Cottage Holidays – 017687 58845

You might also like to try accommodation in Cockermouth. The new Premier Inn is easy to get to via the A66.

If you are still finding it difficult to re-arrange or find new booking, contact us at communication@keswickministries.org and we will see how we might be able to assist. However, please note, as we do not provide accommodation ourselves your best way forward is to speak to the accommodation providers directly.