New Wine Didie Bucknall What is New Wine?
Held at the Bath and Wells Showground, the New Wine Summer Conference takes place in a few huge hangars and many larger and smaller marquees.
In the centre is the Marketplace where books and CDs are on sale and information can be found on various projects of interest. Outside are stalls selling food – the salt marsh lamb burgers were delicious – and a large FairTraid café.
Round and about are fields full of tents and caravans and blocks of washing facilities. The best way to get about is by bicycle – this was great fun for the children, who had the freedom to run about, make friends and explore in safety.
New Wine is very much a family event for all ages and there are sessions for children throughout the day with fun, games, worship and teaching.
Everyone is free to take in as much or as little of the programme as suits them and Audrey and Hélène and I were there for only a couple of days. We stayed locally in a comfortable B & B, but Mary was there for the whole week, volunteering in the FairTraid marquee and living in a great little caravan, where we sometimes went for a rest between seminars.
The days begin and end with worship and teaching, then, at intervals throughout the day there are dozens of seminars to choose from – so many that it was often difficult to decide which to attend.
I heard talks on so many subjects – one which stands out in my
mind was about restorative justice – a victim awareness programme run by Sycamore Tree which has dramatically cut prisoner re- offending rates.
The highlights of the days were the coming together with such a huge crowd for the morning and evening worship. It was an amazing experience to be with so many people singing and praising. We had some truly inspirational teaching which certainly has touched me and deepened my understanding of what it is to be a follower of Jesus.
Churches often come in a group, camp together, share friendship, activities and often have a whole church barbeque. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a sizeable contingent from St Mary’s there next year!
Should you go there? Yes, absolutely!
If you want to be inspired, if you want to find a meaning to your life, if you are tired and dispirited, or just want to share a week with thousands of Christians, plan to come next year.
Julia’s Montessori Nursery School
in St Mary’s Church Hall, Hampton for 2½ - 5 year olds
Dedicated and qualified staff
High standard of care and early education using the Montessori Method
020 8641 3234
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