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  • News

    James Robson celebrates two-year anniversary as Ministry Director

    16 November 2018

    James Robson

    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
    academic institution?
    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
    every morning?
    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
    fantastic motivator.

    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

  • News

    Worship leaders for Convention 2019 confirmed

    9 November 2018

    Olly Knight

    The three worship leaders for the Convention 2019 have now been confirmed as:

    • Colin Webster – week 1 (13 - 19 July)
    • EMU Music – week 2 (20- 26 July)
    • Olly Knight – week 3 (27 July - 2 August)

    Olly Knight will be leading worship at the Convention for the first time. Olly is the worship leader at The City Church Canterbury and well-known for leading praise at UCCF’s student conference, FORUM and Word Alive.

    He will be leading in week 3 of the Convention which traditionally attracts large numbers of families and young adults.

    “It’s a real honour to come and serve at Keswick 2019. It’s a beautiful part of the country to gather in and it’s a conference that I’ve always heard great things about. ” (Olly Knight)

    Over the past few decades, Christian music has caught on as an important genre in the music world. Initially, when people would think of Christian music, they’d think of traditional worship - like gospel music - instead of rock, punk and even rap music. Nowadays, Christian worship bands are among the most popular musicians, making some of the best Christian songs of 2018. Songs such as ‘In Christ Alone’, by Stuart Townend and Keith and Kristyn Getty, for example, which form part of the Keswick Convention worship, have made it onto the Official Charts Company top 20 list.

    Colin Webster, minister and elder at Cornerstone Church, Nottingham who recently, together with the Keswick Ministries Chair, released the centenary Remembrance Hymn, has led worship at the Keswick Convention for several years and loves coming to the Lake District.

    “There can be few conferences anywhere in the UK which are located in such stunning surroundings as the Keswick Convention. Every time I drive up from Nottingham and catch my first glimpse of the breath-taking mountains where the town of Keswick nestles beneath, I immediately feel the tonic of seeing God’s creation lifting my spirit. This year’s convention theme of ‘longing’ echoes what the psalmist famously penned when he said: ”God You are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.' My prayer is that this year’s convention will indeed prove to be a spiritual oasis for all those who are longing after God in a fresh way." (Colin Webster)

    EMU Music, who run Keswick Ministries' Word in Song conference in June 2019 will be leading the music in week 2 of the Convention. More information on the Word in Song

    Conference details can be found at:
    "We are very excited to have such a strong line-up of worship bands. Visitors to the
    Convention come to Keswick for a time of relaxation as well as spiritual refreshment.
    Worship and praise form an essential part of this experience and we are delighted that EMU,
    Colin Webster and Olly Knight are partnering with us." David Sawday, COO, Keswick Ministries.

  • News

    Tim Chester and Colin Webster release Centenary Remembrance Hymn

    2 November 2018

    Remembrance Hymn Colin Webster

    Tim Chester, Chair of Keswick Ministries and worship leader, Colin Webster, have released a new Centenary Remembrance hymn.
    The song, The Remembrance Hymn, has been released for the use in remembrance services on 11th November, which marks 100 years to the day, since the end of the First World War.
    Tim Chester, who has written numerous worship songs for today’s church, hopes this song will encourage people to think afresh not only about the impact of war, but the inescapable question of eternity. “This song very much touches on the theme of next year’s Convention, ‘Longing’. We all have a never-dying soul and we long for peace and an eternity without war and tears. This longing is answered in the person of Christ who laid down His life for us on the cross, making way for an eternity of peace. We hope this song will both honour those who have lost their lives for others and, at the same time, point to the hope we have in our Saviour, Christ Jesus.”
    Colin Webster, minister and elder at Cornerstone Church, Nottingham and worship leader at next year’s Convention has pre-recorded the song together with his band. Individuals and churches can access the recording on youtube and get hold of the free sheet music via Cornerstone Church’s website. ( )

    “Although WWI was supposed to have been ”the war that ended all wars“, we are all too aware that conflicts still rage in many parts of our fallen world. Services of Remembrance are solemn times for the living to show gratitude to God for those who have laid down their lives trying to bring peace. We hope this song will reflect not only the solemnity of the moment, but also the Christian hope that points us to Christ, the Prince of Peace who laid down his life in order to one day put a final end to all pain and suffering.”

    The video and song have been made available on Cornerstone’s youtube channel to use during church and remembrance services and can be found here:
    Music sheets for the song can be found at:

  • News

    Dredging started near Pencil Factory site after Storm Callum

    26 October 2018

    Dredging River Greta 2018

    The recent whirlwind visit of Storm Callum brought 1000 tons of gravel to the Pencil Mill bend – a trigger point for flooding in the town - on the doorstep of Keswick Ministries' pencil factory site.
    The Environment Agency has started dredging the area and is expected to complete the work over the next two weeks. The landowner, Keswick Ministries, has given access to the dredging area via the pencil factory mill and is providing some of the overspill car park as a site compound in order to facilitate the work.
    “The work is being carried out by the Environment Agency’s Field Services Team and is set out to increase channel capacity and reduce flood risk to properties in Keswick.” says Adrian Bacon from the Environment Agency. “The recent storm brought in approximately 50 truck-loads of gravel which will now be taken to a local quarry and recycled into aggregate.”
    “We are thankful for the Environment Agency’s work on the river bend and appreciate the quick action they have taken.” David Sawday, COO, Keswick Ministries.

  • News

    Keswick Ministries appoints Director of Youth and Children

    26 October 2018

    Mel Lacy

    Keswick Ministries, appoints Mel Lacy, Executive Director of the charity, Growing Young Disciples, as a part-time staff member in the role of Director of Youth and Children with immediate effect.
    The appointment will help Keswick Ministries meet the increased demand received from UK churches for support in their children’s and youth work. The appointment will also allow the Keswick-based charity to dedicate more consistent planning time for the recruitment and training of volunteers in the preparation of the Convention’s summer youth programme.
    Mel Lacy said: “I’m delighted that my role with Growing Young Disciples is enabling me to serve Keswick Ministries in a more formal way. I am deeply committed to the Convention and have had the privilege of serving on the kid’s and youth teams for many years. I’m looking forward to continuing to care for excellent teams of volunteer leaders and further developing the kid’s and youth ministry provision during the Convention.”
    “Keswick Ministries places a high value on raising the next generation to know and love Jesus Christ and to this end we are delighted to have Mel Lacy join us in a permanent role as Director of Youth and Children. Mel herself has great knowledge and experience both of Keswick Ministries and of Children’s and Youth work more generally. She is gifted at thinking clearly and strategically and will deliver excellent training alongside her work with Growing Young Disciples. This is a partnership that both she and we are excited about.” James Robson, Ministry Director.
    Melanie was born in Ireland and has been living in the United Kingdom for almost 20 years. For nine years she was a faculty member at Oak Hill Theological College. Over the last six years, she has led the Convention’s youth ministry as a volunteer and has recently become the Executive Director of Growing Young Disciples, which is dedicated to providing training, resources and advice to kid’s and youth workers, local churches and parachurch organisations. Growing Young Disciples will also facilitate a number of training events and conferences each year.
    She is part of Keswick Ministries Teaching & Training team and, this week is facilitating an intensive training course in Keswick for kid’s and youth leaders.