What is Faith Camp?
Faith Camp is a gathering of Christians from around the UK and abroad at the Peterborough Arena at the East of England Showground. It is a family friendly festival of Christianity – it’s all about Jesus- run by Kingdom Faith church based in Horsham on the south coast. It is an action packed week for the children and teenagers with inspirational speakers for the adults in the twice daily ‘Big Event’. There are a wide variety of seminars and a group for every age of child from 0 to 18. There really is something for everyone.
Life on site
The showground is a secure campsite for a week and split into units. Each unit has a unit leader who welcomes you on arrival, disseminates information and arranges social gatherings of the unit campers during the week. We were on Unit 14 and had the lovely Kate and Jeremy as our unit leaders.
As we had travelled from Bangalore, India we had hired a tent and equipment in advance and this was pre erected for our arrival on the unit. After lugging two heavy suitcases across London on tubes and trains I was grateful our tent was ready for arrival.
Alex had picked us up from the station and we had managed to keep our attendance at Faith Camp a secret from our church friends (except Matt and Alex who were notified on the day I booked!). When we arrived we were greeted with great enthusiasm and surprise by our friends. It was lovely to be reunited with them after such a long time. It was going to be a great week.
The site has a general store, a camping shop, a food ‘court’ (a few food vans), the Hub cafe (great hot drinks), a helpful info point (who were doing a roaring trade in charging mobile phones), a resource centre (full of christian books, music and gifts) and an exhibition area. It is well organised and catered for campers on site.
The toilet blocks are clean with hot water and loo roll are plenty. The shower blocks were also clean with push button showers with hot water. This was decent camping.
There is also camp radio for the week covering the events with interviews and music in between.
Children and Youth
Throughout the week there were inter unit football and volleyball competitions. In addition there were indoor activities (football and basketball) as well as an area for roller skating and scooters in the cowsheds.
The children and youth have separate groups for their age range – all focused on fun and Jesus. The groups are:
Tiny Treasures 0-2 years from 9:15-11:30am each morning
Bounces 3-4 years from 9:15am – 12:15pm each morning
Powerpack 5-7 years from 9:15am – 12:15pm and 6pm-7pm each day
Powerpack 8-10 years from 9:15am – 12:15pm and 6pm – 8pm each day
Resolute 11-13 years from 9:15am – 12:30pm and 6pm – 8:30pm each day
The Move 14-18 years from 8am – 8:30am, 10am – 12:15pm, Cafe 7:30pm – 8:45pm, XL 9pm – 10:45pm, Wind Down 10:30pm – 11pm.
The Big Event
This is in the Peterborough Arena and runs alongside the children and youth groups during the week. It starts with loud worship! There is a huge band on stage with a singing group too. A few thousand Christians together can worship loudly and freely. It is exhilarating.
The speakers at the Big Event were Colin Urquhart, Clive Urquhart, Jarrod Cooper, Andy Elmes and Bengt Wedemalm. In addition, on the Wednesday morning, the Israeli Ambassador to the UK came to speak.
The meetings are designed to “inspire, inform and equip” us – and they certainly do. The teaching was, as always, very good. The variety of speakers meant that there was something for everyone. We certainly encountered God and His Holy Spirit during the week.
Throughout the week there was aseminar series running in the afternoons with excellent speakers on a wide range and variety of topics. In addition there were specific seminars for different groups such as leaders and worship seminars.
In addition running alongside the seminars was a 24/7 prayer room so we could “constantly and persistently” pray.
My week at Faith Camp
The week went so fast. Zahra loved being with her friends the whole week and the freedom of being able to play on the site, without my constant supervision, as it was secure. She loved PowerPack and learnt a lot.
I enjoyed the freedom to worship and enjoy being with God and His people. It was a sanctuary. I learnt a lot as well – the Bible teaching is always superb. It was lovely being with so many other Christians and friends – I was able to relax and enjoy myself for the first time in a long time.
The nightly gatherings at Matt and Alex’ tent became a feature. We gathered as a church to discuss the day’s events and what we had learnt and how we were going to put it into practice when we were back home. Over a glass of wine / Prosecco of course! It was good to catch up with friends and just chat. It is something I have come to treasure more now that I am separated from them in India.
Faith Camp was refreshing and restoring and I hope we manage to go next year – even if it does mean a 5000+ mile journey.