I’m looking forward to Commission Festival this year more than ever. It will be FOUR YEARS since we’ve been able to go away as a family of churches together like this – the last time was summer 2019.
In case you don’t know already, Commission Festival is our annual camping event, taking place over the August Bank Holiday weekend, where we gather with churches from across our Commission UK family. We will get to enjoy all the fun of last year’s Welcome Church Big Weekend Away, camping together as a church, but we’ll also get access to a whole lot more in terms of fun, games, events, inter-church sports competitions, teaching, worship, kids work, youth work and more. The dates for this year are 24th to 28th August at the Bath and West Showground in Shepton Mallet, Somerset. If you hate camping you can always arrange a caravan (as Jo and I have done) or stay offsite in a local B&B or Hotel.
As a church we have more people booked in than we’ve ever had before, so don’t miss out. Prices go up after 10th April, and if you book before the end of February you can opt to pay in instalments. If you sign up to serve you’ll get a 40% discount too, and this year we will also cater for everyone who books in from Welcome Church … for free.
Alongside the usual range of excellent speakers including Guy Miller, Vinu Paul, Chris Kilby, Tim Blaber and more, there are a few specific things happening that I wanted to mention to whet your appetite for the event (and these are just a taster of what to expect):
Mike Pilavachi, well known for his role in Soul Survivor, is going to be speaking on the opening night and you really won’t want to miss it. Mike is also speaking in the youth meeting on the Friday morning.
Kemi Koleoso from Jubilee Church London will be speaking in one of the main morning sessions. Kemi is an incredibly gifted preacher and she will help build our faith to new levels.
Andrew Bunt will be speaking in two seminars and also in one of the youth meetings. Andrew is the author of ‘Finding Your Best Identity: A Short Christian Introduction to Identity, Sexuality and Gender’. Andrew will be helping us understand and find a Biblical approach to these challenging topics both as churches, and also as parents and families. This is a topic that many have been concerned about, so make sure you’re there to get informed and equipped.
Natalie Brand, author of ‘Priscilla, where are you?’ and ‘Prone to Wander’ (as well as a number of other books) will be speaking in two seminars, one on ‘raising female theologians’ and one on ‘struggling when God seems distant’.
Additionally some people from our Welcome Church family will be contributing too. Our very own Jo Petch is working with Sean Theunissen (from Citygate Church in Bournemouth) to organise and deliver the worship for the event; the ‘Commission Collective’ have even been song writing. Meg Ochieng is leading a seminar. I understand that Robin and Anna Willison may be on the seminar list too and I’m sure other familiar faces will appear along the way.
I’m going to be preaching one of the main evening sessions myself, probably on the Saturday evening. It would be great to have a crowd from Welcome Church there to encourage me with your smiles and to pray that I don’t mess it up 🙂
As a church (and knowing the British weather) we’ve booked the biggest marquee we’ve ever had. It’s been described as “so big that our church will go home thinking that Commission Festival was an indoor event” 😂. On top of all this I hear rumours that we’re due to see the return of the Welcome Church silent disco, and a whole range of other fun events in our own marquee too.
We don’t want anyone to miss out on Commission Festival, so if you have any questions or concerns please ask. And please don’t delay booking as prices will go up nearer to the event.