16 November 2018
This November Revd Dr James Robson, Ministry Director for Keswick Ministries celebrates his first two years for the Keswick-based charity.
James joined the charity in the autumn of 2016 from Wycliffe Hall in Oxford where he served as
Senior Tutor and Tutor in Old Testament and Hebrew. Previously, he taught at Oak Hill,
London. He now heads up the charity’s overall ministry, including the annual Keswick
Convention. Since joining, James has set-up Keswick Ministries' Teaching & Training
programme which aims to provide participants with strong Biblical teaching as well as a time
away for refreshment and renewal in the beautiful setting of the Lake District.
In this short interview, James explores his first two years with Keswick Ministries:
On joining Keswick Ministries what were your goals?
To take the ministry forward at this time of immense opportunity, to extend the reach of the
Convention and deepen its relationship with supporters, to realise the potential of the
Derwent Project, develop an outstanding Teaching and Training programme and work in
partnership with the Town. I also wanted to do these things in a way that provides
continuity with the past but also develops a spirit of constant renewal.
How different is it working for a charity like Keswick Ministries compared to an
The main similarity with seminaries is of course, is the Christian ethos. The main difference,
is the stakeholders. The academic world is focussed on students but at Keswick we impact a
multitude of generations, encouraging young and old in their walk with God. Also, Keswick
Ministries is a much more public and open organisation and part of the community of
What attracted you to the job at Keswick Ministries and gets you out of bed
I love the charity’s purpose and priorities, its beliefs and its concern for unity. It is a unique
place with a strong focus on seeing lives transformed by the power of God’s Word.
Hundreds of thousands of people have come to the Keswick Convention for over a century
and a half, and thousands have gone out from here, refreshed and encouraged to bring the
good news of Christ to a suffering world. The opportunity to make a real difference is a
On joining, what did you hope to bring to the job?
I have sought to bring Christian leadership and a renewed sense of purpose that will
strengthen the organisation so that we can continue to refresh, inspire and equip people for
discipleship and ministry. It is my desire to listen and learn and, through an analytical
approach, finding ways to continuously improve what we do. I believe Keswick Ministries is
becoming even more meaningful and relevant in the life of today’s Christians.
Were any changes needed?
I realised very soon that we needed to work in closer partnership with the Town of Keswick.
The Convention and our other activities are primarily aimed at those who attend but I also
want them to be a source of pride and benefit to the town. So we have really worked hard
on listening and engaging those around us to make sure that we contribute positively to our
supporters and our community locally.
James is the author of Honey from the Rock: Deuteronomy for the People of God, He is
married to Bridget, and has two adult daughters. He enjoys golf, mountain-biking, hillwalking,
growing vegetables and armchair cricket.
Some of the courses James has introduced, which take place throughout the year, but
outside of the main school holidays:
Deuteronomy: Bible Workshop - Tuesday 12 to Wednesday 13 March – led by James
Word by Heart - Monday 8 to Friday 12 April – led by Broadway star Bruce Kuhn
Influential Leadership Workshop – Monday 20 – Friday 24 May – with Simon
Barrington, founder and director of Forge Consultancy, Naomi Partridge, co-founder of
HOLOS London, Peter Maiden, Minister-at –large of Keswick Ministries and James Robson,
Ministry Director of Keswick Ministries