Our indispensable guide to the summer's most exciting and inspirational festivals and conferences.
The weather may be telling you differently, but Summer is approaching fast, and with it comes a wealth of Christian conferences and festivals for all the family. If you haven’t booked a ticket yet, check out our guide to what’s going on around the UK.
Big Church Day Out
June is the perfect month for a Church weekend away, and that’s what this is – on a grand scale. A (big) church fete, three stages of music, inspiring speakers, and good relaxing fun for everyone.
Featured artists/speakers: Newsboys, Guvna B, Matt Redman, Jahaziel, and Diane Louise Jordan among a wide variety of others.
Do say: ‘Time for a nice cup of tea I think.’
Don’t say: ‘What’s Steve Chalke doing here?’
June 2 - June 3: Wiston House, West Sussex. Tickets available now (Family ticket is £115, plus accommodation). www.bigchurchdayout.com
It’s the big noise north of the border – CLAN takes place in the beautiful environs of St Andrews. 2012’s CLAN starts with the stand-alone Revolution Music festival on Saturday 28th of July, and extends into the rest of the week with a host of speakers and workshops.
Featured artists/speakers: Shane Claiborne, Nicky Gumbel, LZ7, Nathan Jess, REND Collective and more.
Do say: ‘I’ll bring my kilt.’
Don’t say: ‘So where did Wills and Kate used to hang out?’
July 28 – August 4: Strathtyrum Estate, St Andrews, Fife. Tickets from: £77 (plus accomodation). www.clangathering.org.uk
Spinning the wheels of steel, DJ Andy Hunter will make a few summer appearances
Cliff College, nestled in the Derbyshire Dales has its own festival, it has a youth section called Pulse, which is not to be confused with the Pulse music festival in Ipswich. This one focuses on teaching and worship, with a bit of music and art thrown in – because they’re good like that.
Featured artists/speakers: Jo and Andy Frost, Joel Edwards, Ian White, Steve MacBeth, DJ Andy Hunter, Bebe Vox and Benny Lee and the Whistlestop 5, among many others.
Do say: ‘So, this is a theological college!’
Don’t say: ‘So, this is a theological college?’
June 1 – June 4: Cliff College, Hope Valley, Derbyshire. Entry is £2 per adult – local accommodation is priced variously. www.cliffcollege.ac.uk/page/festival
It’s the Cornish Christian festival with a massive skate park – and free entry. Chock full of bands playing through the PM, and bible teaching in the morning. Fun for all the family.
Featured artists/speakers: Bluetree, Lou Fellingham and Phatfish, REND Collective, Chip Kendall, The Bear Hug Band and various others.
Do say: ‘I’ll have a pasty please.’
Don’t say: ‘That looks a bit dangerous.’
August 4 – August 10: Royal Cornwall Showground. Entry is free, camping is £10 per night for an adult. – www.creationfest.org.uk
Worship leader Jason Upton will be at 'David's Tent'
The first of the Summer festivals is based in West Sussex, and bills itself as a 3-day worship event, with non-stop prayer and worship taking place throughout. Expect prophetic worship, and prayer for revival.
Featured artists/speakers: Jason Upton, United Pursuit, Sean Feucht and Shawn Bolz among others.
Do say: ‘Thank goodness the weather picked up!’
Don’t say: ‘So which one IS David’s tent?’
May 24 – May 27: Steyning, West Sussex. Adult weekend ticket £79 plus £5 camping fee. www.davidstent.net
He's a very clever Bishop, and Tom Wright will be among many other speakers at Greenbelt.
Without a doubt the most famous Christian arts festival in the UK, which has recently spawned a copycat in the USA, Greenbelt has a reputation for provocative speakers and top rated musicians. They provide a full programme for the whole family, a relaxed ‘festy’ vibe.
Featured artists/speakers: Nitin Sawhney, Bellowhead, Bruce Cockburn, Speech Debelle, Shane Claiborne, Tom Wright among a legion of others.
Do say: ‘The toilets are much better than they used to be.’
Don’t say: ‘Isn’t that him off the tele…?’
August 24 – August 27: Chelmsford Racecourse. Adult weekend ticket £110. www.greenbelt.org.uk
Deep in the heart of the beautiful Lake District, this perennial Bible week is always popular, and boasts serious teaching in its own convention centre. There are three weeks to choose from, the speakers may change, but the views remain the same.
Featured artists/speakers: Stuart Townend, Ian Coffey, Carl Beech, Roy Crowne, Tim Chester and various others.
Do say: ‘I’ve brought my walking boots.’
Don’t say: ‘There seem to be a lot of Baptists here…’
Week 1: July 14-20 Week 2: July 21-27 Week 3: July 28 – August 3: Keswick Convention centre, Cumbria. Entry is free – accommodation can be found locally. www.keswickministries.org
Part of the ‘Soul Survivor family’ of events, Momentum is the ‘older sibling’ of the family – with a teaching lineup aimed specifically at people in the 20s and 30s. It describes itself as five days in a field, with thousands of mates.
Featured artists/speakers: Mike Pilavachi, Graham Cray, Beth Croft, Dweeb, DJ Olly Palmer
Do say: ‘They are offering some serious teaching, in a way that I enjoy – nice!’
Don’t say: ‘I’m not as young as I used to be.’
August 17 – August 21: Bath and West showground, Somerset. Tickets £104 each. www.soulsurvivor.com/uk/momentum/
The man with the 'locks' is appearing at various events through the summer
It started off as an Anglican affair, but soon branched out, and now all kinds of people head to a New Wine celebration each summer. The three ‘New Wine weeks’ are split over two sites, and neatly arranged within a fortnight – clever that.
Featured artists/speakers: Shane Claiborne, Francis Chan, Danielle Strickland, and J John alongside various others.
Do say: ‘And I don’t even have to miss the Olympics, because of the special screenings…’
Don’t say: ‘I’m not really into well-run, family oriented conferences.’
Week 1: July 21 – July 27: Shepton Mallet. Week 2: July 28 – August 3: Newark & Nottinghamshire County Showground. Week 3: July 29 – August 4: Shepton Mallet. Tickets from £144. www.new-wine.org/summer
Worship Central's Ben Cantelo will make a special appearance at the event formerly known as Grapevine
ONE - The event formerly known as Grapevine
A couple of years it was called Grapevine, then it had a name change and became ONE, but somehow people have started calling it ‘The event formerly known as Grapevine’ or Tefkag – if you’re one of the congniscenti.
Featured artists/speakers: Jeff Lucas, Stuart Bell, Ben Cantelon, Debby Wright and Andrew Wilson amongst others.
Do say: ‘Ah Lincolnshire… who fancies a sausage?’
Don’t say: ‘Just explain that name thing to me again.’
August 24 – August 28: Lincolnshire Showground, Lincoln. Tickets: £110 for an adult. www.one-event.org.uk
Statistics prove that wherever you are in the world, you’re never very far from a Soul Survivor event. The popular youth camp has spread across the globe, and, spread over three weeks, it remains a firm fixture on the UK summer circuit.
Featured artists/speakers: Mike Pilavachi, Jeannie Morgan, Patrick Regan, Suzie Brock, Gavin Calver and many others.
Do say: ‘I brought wellies and suncream!’
Don’t say: ‘If I get up now, there’s bound to be a shower free…’
Week A July 27 – July 31: Stafford Showground. Week B July 7 – August 11: Bath & West Showground. Week C: August 12 – August 16: Bath & West showground. Ticket £109 (online). www.soulsurvivor.com
These are only some of the fantastic events going on this summer – there are many others, if you're going to one we’ve missed – please add it in the comments below.
May 15th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross