Around 40 years ago, two Christian ladies who managed Hotel Elizabeth on Sidmouth seafront had the burden for a week of Bible Ministry in Sidmouth following the ethos of the popular Keswick Conference in Cumbria. They arranged a special week, out of season, filling the hotel with visitors and inviting local Christians for an opportunity to come together for a “Keswick Week”.
Now a small group of volunteers from different churches in the Sid Valley and beyond undertake to organise what is known as Keswick in Devon. We hold to the ethos of Keswick Ministries and are part of the Keswick Fellowship (see below). All Saints’ Church Sidmouth, an Anglican church and member of the Evangelical Alliance has hosted Keswick in Devon since it started and in 2022 took on the oversight of the event. Members of the church undertake most of the practical tasks that are needed to ensure that Keswick in Devon happens. All Saints is also responsible for the management of Keswick in Devon’s finances, including applications for Gift Aid.
The current Planning Team for Keswick in Devon comprises:
- Revd David Caporn, Rector of All Saints Sidmouth (Chair)
- Nick Goldsworthy, teaching and programme leader at Belmont Chapel, Exeter
- Carole Hawkins, conference administrator and LLM at All Saints Sidmouth
- Peter Scott, website editor and LLM at All Saints Sidmouth
In keeping with the Keswick tradition, no charge is made for attendance at Keswick in Devon events but a collection is taken up during the week to cover costs.
Over the years many well known and distinguished Christian speakers have come to Keswick in Devon. These have included David Jackman, Tim Chester, Amy Orr-Ewing, Stephen Gaukroger, Ian Paul, and Ian Coffey. For a full list of speakers over the past 20 years click here.
Keswick in Devon is a member of the Keswick Fellowship, a network of similar events in the UK and around the world which share a commitment to the spiritual renewal of God’s people for his mission in the world. For over 140 years the work of Keswick has impacted churches worldwide, and today the movement is underway throughout the UK, as well as in many parts of Europe, Asia, North America, Australia, Africa and the Caribbean. Keswick Ministries is committed to strengthening the network in the UK and beyond, through prayer, news, pioneering and cooperative activity.
The Keswick movement worldwide has adopted St Paul’s key statement to describe the gospel’s inclusivity: ‘All one in Christ Jesus’ (Gal 3:28).