We started our summer holidays with our usual trip to the New Wine summer conference. I think this marks our 11th consecutive year of wending our way to the Bath & West Show Ground for an uplifting, challenging and inspiring week of worship, fellowship and teaching.
School term dates meant that this year we were attending the second week. The week before had been hot and sunny so thankfully the ground was in good condition for camping. Given the huge volumes of water descending from the skies in the preceding weeks this was by no means a foregone conclusion. We had a more mixed week with some sunshine and some rain - including some very heavy downpours but we were treated to a marvellous double rainbow over the site (which this photo doesn't do justice.... should have taken my wide angle lens with me...).
My measure of good camping weather is that at a minimum you get to pitch the tent in the dry and get to pack it away dry as well and we achieved that.
The morning bible studies were given by David Parker from the Desert Vinyard church in California who spoke powerfully from Acts 3 and 4 looking at the story of the healing of the beggar at the "gate called Beautiful". As ever it was great to have such a concentration of time looking in detail at a familiar story, giving the chance to look into it in depth and consider its wider meaning.
In the evening sessions we were treated to a range of impressive speakers including a memorable talk from Canon J John that included the story of the donuts (challenge to us all but nice one for church treasurers) and the one about the cat in a tree along with many more.
On the day off we headed out to have a look at the National Trust Tyntesfield House
- somewhere that we hadn't been before and which proved a really interesting place to explore, both the house and the grounds.
All too soon the week was over and it was time to pack away the tent and head home....
until next year.