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  • News

    Keswick Convention 2019 volunteer applications now open!

    19 October 2018

    Volunteer applications open for 2019

    The Keswick Convention’s volunteer applications process is now underway and the online applications portal open.
    Keswick Ministries recruits close to 650 volunteers each year to help organise its summer event, the Keswick Convention. Volunteers from across the UK support the event by serving at the reception desk, on the welcome team, preparing food, helping with disabled visitors, supporting the children and youth work and setting up and taking down the events marquees.
    The event sees approximately 12,000 visitors over three weeks. “We are extremely grateful for the wonderful support the hundreds of volunteers provide each year. With only nine full-time staff, we would be unable to run the Convention if it were not for these men and women. Volunteers come up to the Convention and give of their time and energy for one, two or three weeks. Some, give their entire summer break and help us over a period of four full weeks, including set-up and take-down. It is truly amazing and we are grateful for their tremendous support.” David Sawday, COO, Keswick Ministries.
    Naomi Sims from Lincolnshire volunteered for the first time at the Convention this summer and is looking forward to returning in 2019: “I have grown up seeing the amazing work that Keswick Ministries team does and wanted to become a part of it someday. I applied as soon as I turned 18. I was slightly nervous, because I had never volunteered as part of such a large team before, but it was the best decision ever! Volunteering was the highlight of my summer, the teams are lovely, and the staff are incredible. So many laughs and good memories to look back on. It is a privilege to serve alongside other Christians as part of Keswick Ministries, in the beautiful setting of the Lake District. I can’t wait to return in the summer!”

    Alan Urquhart from Cockermouth has been part of the volunteer team since 2011. At the time, he signed up to help after a friend told him that the Convention was still in need of some more people. “I signed up for a one-off event, and have been helping ever since. I look forward to it, every year. I have made some really good friends on the volunteer team and look forward to working with them again. I help as a steward and really enjoy meeting visitors to the Convention. Every year, I will see many people I already know. It is nice to have a good rapport with people. I help find room in the marquee for some of the disabled visitors and have learned to find ways to accommodate them and to make them feel really welcome. To me, giving of my time means that more people can hear about Christ. It is worth it.”

    To find out more and to apply as a volunteer, go to:

  • News

    Millennial Leaders report released today!

    16 October 2018

    Influential Leadership Workshop

     Keswick, 16 October 2018 – Keswick Ministries' training partner, Forge Leadership, today releases its leadership research report: “Millennial Leaders – Now is our time and this is our voice.”

    The research explores the opinions of Christian millennials in leadership positions across all sectors of society in the United Kingdom.

    James Robson, Ministry Director of Keswick Ministries, backs the report, saying, “It identifies that millennial leaders are concerned not just with skills but with character, authenticity and integrity. Qualities that speak of what it means to be a Christian disciple – and a Christian disciple in leadership.”

    “This is right at the core of what Keswick Ministries is about – and what our leadership course espouses - a concern with Christlikeness.”

                                                James Robson speaks about Forge Leadership

    Research for the report was undertaken by Forge Leadership Consultancy between September 2017 and April 2018, utilising 50 in-depth qualitative interviews and over 440 responses to a quantitative survey. It was carried out to give millennial leaders a voice in this currently volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous leadership environment (Lawrence, 2014), in the hope of helping millennials reach their full leadership potential and creating environments where they thrive.

    Simon Barrington, Founder and Director, Forge Leadership and previous CEO of Samaritan’s Purse, has highlighted the importance of the report, saying: “‘Millennial professionals ’are one of the most discussed and researched subjects of recent times‘ (Srivastava & Banerjee, 2016: 148)’. We believe they have been unfairly stereotyped and misrepresented, which is why Forge Leadership set out to give millennials a voice. We wanted to understand the people behind the millennial label with the aim of helping them reach their full potential in leadership.”

    In a bid to help leaders in all sectors, Forge Leadership and Keswick Ministries are working in partnership. They hosted an Influential Leadership Workshop in Keswick this May and a
    follow-up coaching sessions this October. Both training events were so successful that a second course will be taking place from May 20 - 24 next year.

    Mr Robson said: “Leadership in all walks of life is critically important because of the effect it has on others. Keswick Ministries is committed to helping develop leaders in Business, Charities and in Christian Ministry. We believe the best route is to focus on the character of Christ as a model for motivation and leadership - and encouragingly, this report confirms that Millennials, our next generation of leaders, endorse and value this approach as well.”

    The research finds that
    1. Millennials place an extremely high value on integrity, authenticity and self-awareness within their leadership, yet identifies an underlying tension with a strongly felt need for approval and a significant fear of failure.
    2. Millennial leaders are aiming to create a culture where relationships flourish, and collaboration and teamwork are priorities. There is a strong desire for purpose to be a driving factor in the workplace. Millennial leaders also seek an environment where there is frequent feedback and encouragement.
    3. There is a strong commitment to developing others. Personal growth in skills and character
    outside of a narrow job specification is greatly desired. Positive past experience of mentoring,
    coaching and learning on the job make one-to-one leadership development models the most
    highly sought-after.

    To view the full report, go to:

    To find out more about the Influential leadership Workshop, held in partnership with Forge Consultancy and Keswick Ministries, click here.

  • News

    Keswick Convention 2020 dates confirmed

    5 October 2018

    Keswick Convention 2018 crowd

    The Keswick Convention dates for 2020 have been confirmed as:

    Week 1: 11 - 17 July, Week 2: 18 - 24 July and Week 3: 25 - 31 July.

    “We’re pleased to confirm the dates, which, in 2020, all fall within July, something that happens about once every five years. The first week will be in Cumbria’s school term. It’s important to release the dates this early to help conventioners plan ahead for their holidays,” said Keswick Ministries, COO, David Sawday.

    In addition, the 2020 Convention’s main marquee will, pending planning permission, be on the charity’s Pencil Factory site for the first time.

    The charity purchased the old Derwent pencil factory site in 2015 with a view to holding its main event, the Keswick Convention, on one, integrated site. At present, children, youth and mission programmes run on the Rawnsley site and the main Bible readings take place in Skiddaw Street.

    “While we are in the midst of organising the 2019 Convention, some elements of our plans are already underway for 2020. We’re all very excited to be working on the various aspects of bringing together different programme elements of this historic event in one place, where children and adults can celebrate their faith together.” Mr Sawday added.

    Every year, the Convention has a theme to highlight a different area of the Christian experience. The theme being worked on for 2020 is around idea of ‘Thankfulness’.

    “The culture in our society is very much focused on attaining ever higher levels of achievement and possessions – which leads to feelings of dissatisfaction. However, for Christians, gratefulness is a key to our daily walk with Christ. So, we’d like to encourage Conventioners through a biblical outlook on their circumstances to give thanks to God for his love and provision whatever their situation. 2020 will be the 145th year of the Convention, an event which has blessed hundreds of thousands of Christians over the years. That alone, is reason to give thanks.”

    The Pencil Factory has a strong association with the Keswick Convention. It was originally owned by Charles Greenwood, a local iron monger who was converted to Christianity after hearing a Convention preacher Daniel Crawford proclaim the gospel in the Market Place in Keswick. Charles was so impressed that he even named his son, Daniel Crawford Greenwood, after the Preacher.

  • News

    Convention initiatives endorsed by Town Liaison Forum

    28 September 2018

    Friends of Keswick 2018

    Clearing Keswick Convention’s afternoon programme and a drive to promote local businesses during the annual event has been welcomed by Keswick traders.
    The measures were discussed at Keswick’s latest Town Liaison Forum where traders, councillors, tourism, local authority services and Keswick Ministries' reviewed the initiatives that were introduced this summer to boost trade and to work more closely together.
    Following the forum on Tuesday, Joe Broomfield, town centre area manager for Allerdale Borough Council, said: "It’s clear that the local liaison forum for the Keswick Convention is having a really positive impact. Keswick Ministries have taken on-board suggestions from local businesses and the community and it’s really encouraging to hear positive feedback from those represented around the table.
    “The forum has become an important communication route and will have a key role to play as the Convention fully transitions to the Rawnsley and Pencil Factory sites over the next couple of years.”
    The forum was instigated to encourage a higher level of communication between the Convention and the town and to ensure the annual 3-week summer event brings maximum benefit to Keswick.
    Topics discussed on Tuesday included the positive changes to the Convention programme this summer, which freed up the afternoons. The aim was to give Conventioners the time to explore the town and local area. As a result of positive feedback from visitors and businesses, this change is set to continue in future years, Keswick Ministries has confirmed.
    At the forum, business people gave positive feedback about the changes.
    Laura Johnson, of Laura in the Lakes, said: “We are always well supported, I just noticed a different flow of business in this three weeks.”
    While David Ramm, manager of Booths, added: “Trade was much more spread out particularly for the café. This year was much more manageable. It was a big benefit for us.”
    This year also saw the launch of the Enjoy Keswick webpage and pamphlet, which provided details about shops, cafes and tourist attractions on offer in the town.
    The Friends of Keswick loyalty card initiative also provided Conventioners and holidaymakers with the opportunity to support local participating businesses. More than 30 businesses signed up to the venture. The scheme ran over summer, and the first prize draw was held recently.
    Discussions took place at the forum on plans for the scheme for next year and how the initiative can be promoted to Conventioners.
    Vanessa Metcalfe, tourism manager of Keswick Tourism Association also wants to ensure that Friends of Keswick is adopted by other holiday makers, saying “We need to think of different ways through the summer to get the cards to people.”
    She said she will be meeting with stakeholders shortly to discuss plans for the initiative during 2019.
    Mr Ramm, of Booths, encouraged businesses to think laterally and asked whether pubs and cafes could do early bird meals during the convention before the evening service.
    A theme supported by Debbie Beament of Newlands Adventure Centre, who commented: “People have to adapt. The convention is here to stay, we can look at how we engage more, adjust times to fit in.”
    Updates on security at the annual three-week event and also the new system for managing complaints was also discussed.
    The Ministries' says it wants to ensure it works with traders and local representatives in the town to build and improve town relations.

  • News

    Keswick Ministries' Convention Youth Leader leads new Charity

    21 September 2018


    Mel Lacy, leader of the Keswick Convention’s Youth summer programme and full-time faculty member at Oakhill College, London has launched a new Charity for young Christians called Growing Young Disciples.

    Mel leads the youth teaching as part of the Keswick Convention children’s ministry, which, each year, hosts around 1,200 young people during the 3 weeks of the Convention. Now, Mel is launching an exciting new charity called ‘Growing Young Disciples’, which will provide training, resources and consultancy services to all those involved in children’s and youth ministry in local churches.
    “Growing Young Disciples is an expression of my passion to see young people raised in the knowledge of Christ and to equip those who teach them with Biblical resources which are relevant in today’s Christian context”, says Mel. “I am looking forward to getting this young charity off the ground and making a difference to the lives of our young people.”

    Keswick Ministries Director, James Robson commented, “Young people today face unprecedented challenges. We live in a fractured society with increasing religious intolerance. 'They are suffering, and we see the need to invest in, draw alongside and help them, in conjunction with their churches and families. It is essential that we step up and invest in the future generation, so they can move forward in their faith and lives with confidence. We can see this type of commitment at the Convention’s youth programme and it is wonderful that Mel has now taken the opportunity to launch Growing Young disciples. It is a generational investment that will help young people by training up others to serve them effectively.”

    In addition, Growing Young Disciples will provide training and resources for individual youth workers and churches, and will also facilitate a number of training events and conferences each year. The first of these training events, CONTEND, will run at from 14 – 17 January 2019 at Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre.

    Growing Young Disciples is fostering exciting links with a number of organisations and is hoping to help churches and parachurch organisations strategically think about how to reach and raise a new generation for Christ.

    Melanie was born in Ireland and has been living in the United Kingdom for almost 20 years. For 9 years she was a faculty member at Oak Hill. Throughout this time, she has been involved with children’s and youth ministry and remains committed to raising passionate and confident young Christians. She will continue heading up the Keswick Convention summer youth programme.

    David Sawday: “Mel has been instrumental in leading the Keswick Convention’s youth programme for the last 6 years. Her work is not only renowned among those attending, but churches across the country and other parts of the world. Mel is committed to Biblical and family-centred teaching. Our congratulations go to her. We are absolutely delighted that she is now sharing her expertise with the many dedicated youth and church leaders across Christian denominations. Her years of experience offer invaluable insights and a selection of rich resources, addressing the real issues young people of today face.”

    For more information on Growing Young Disciples go to: