The Derwent Project

We thank God for the long and fruitful history of the Keswick Convention that has sought to inspire and equip Christians to love and live for Christ in His World. With the Lord’s blessing and your support in 2015 we took another exciting step through the purchase of the former Pencil Factory in Keswick.

This launched the Derwent Project, the refurbishment of the site to create a platform that extends our Ministry. It will provide a new integrated home for future Conventions, a venue for more regular teaching and training ministry, and a resource for churches across the region and beyond. In short, a beacon of Christian refreshment and sending out.

We hoped it would also bring together people involved in the wider Keswick Fellowship and serve the local community. And it’s great to see that it’s now happening! – Jonathan Lamb, Minister-at-large, Keswick Ministries

Our Goals


To secure the future of the three-week summer Convention on an integrated site in the centre of the town of Keswick.


To establish a new centre of operations for Keswick Ministries’ team


To expand the scope of Keswick Ministries by providing a conference facility for a range of activities at other times of the year, including training programmes and Bible-teaching events.


To make the conference facility available to churches in the UK and beyond, particularly serving Cumbria and the North (including Scotland). Also as a facility for the local community.

The Derwent Project story so far

Since 2015, thanks to God’s guidance and provision through committed supporters like you we have already achieved a great deal:
We own the Pencil Factory (PF), have moved our offices from Skiddaw   Street to the Rawnsley Centre and have planning permission for the refurbishment of the site.

How progress so far:

  • The main building has been stripped out
  • New concrete floor laid
  • New insulation and rendering to the front of the building
  • New footpath and landscaping
  • New entrance and access from Rawnsley created
  • Insulated roof
  • New windows in the front of the building
  • Power supply installed across the site

Last year, for the first time, children and youth groups were able to use the areas on the ground floor of the pencil factory building for their activities during the Convention.

Local community groups have also started using some of the space in the pencil factory.

The Derwent Project has such potential to touch so many more lives and for some that might even mean to follow in the footsteps of others like Amy Carmichael or Taylor Hudson, for whom the Convention played a significant part in them taking the gospel to 1000’s of people abroad. The opportunities are endless.
– John Taylor, Trustee, Keswick Ministries

Next steps for the Derwent Project

Phase 1

Our first step was for Phase 1 refurbishment work which involved heating and lighting, plumbing and drainage for the building. Installation of toilets and the creation of a number of spaces and new meeting rooms on the ground floor for use during the Convention.

The refurbished space will be used all year around by children’s and youth groups, by local church groups and for training and conferences.

Phase 2

Work has started on the first and second floors of the Pencil Factory, so the building can be used for next year’s Convention. This phase will include the installation of stairs and lifts in the building, revamping the first and second floors, installing new windows and re-rendering the rear of the building.

It’s very exciting times as this next phase of work begins. Please pray that plans go smoothly and that work will not be hindered by Covid restrictions or delays in materials.

Fundraising Update Autumn 2021

The project has made significant progress through of the generosity of supporters and Christian Trusts.

This year Phase One of the refurbishment work to the ground floor of the Pencil Factory building was completed. This meant there was meeting spaces for Youth work and seminars – and a new toilet block for Conventioners.

We now plan to start on Phase Two – which is to install stairs to give access to the first and second floors. Also, to install windows and new rendering to the rear of the building. So that the whole building can be used for the Convention in 2022.

This work will cost around £600,000 – and we are actively fundraising for this amount now so the work can continue.

Keswick Ministries Treasurer Steve Adam has recorded a video with an update of the Derwent project Finances

How can you help?

If you are as excited as we are about the Derwent Project and its potential to multiply the impact of our ministry in the UK and around the world, will you make a generous gift today?

A one-off gift of £100, £250, £500, £1,000 or more could enable us to make significant progress towards our goal of holding the Convention in 2020 in one integrated site – giving us the opportunity to worship God together.

A monthly gift of £70, £50, £25 or whatever you can share… can ensure that we complete the refurbishment of the former Pencil Factory beyond 2020 and turn it into a vibrant home where you, your family and your church can receive spiritual refreshment and Bible teaching and training all year around.

Three reasons why you should donate to the Derwent Project...


To give more Christians of all ages opportunities to worship, study God’s Word and encourage each other during the Convention and throughout the year.


To inspire future generations of children and young people to follow Jesus, to love the Bible and to grow strong in their faith.


To ensure that church leaders, mission workers and Christians from all walks of life benefit from more training events and resources developed by Keswick Ministries.

Keswick Ministries