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As I write this Week Two will be well under way and there are not enough words to describe the whole New Wine experience. Initially the feeling on arrival was overwhelming and just HUGE. Especially, since it was pouring with rain after all that good weather. We were fortunate that Revd. Son had been to the site on the Friday with No. 1 grandson to put up the tents and leave Jacob to start his leader duties for one of the many youth and children’s groups (Ask Emily Micklefield if you would like to know more about that).

Having unloaded the car, moved it to the car park and only got lost once coming back to the tent! It was time to get our bearings. Still raining and by now the wind was quite strong, my daughter who had arrived earlier and was fortunate in getting their tent up before the weather got worse. They were camping with her church on the top of the hill. Unfortunately, their friends were not so lucky and had a tent disaster….this then involved a trip to a well known store to purchase another tent!

The overall feeling is to be encouraged in faith, yes by the numbers of people attending but also by the mix of ages, and church families together.

The days are divided in time slots with different speakers and worship opportunities in different venues. It is impossible to go to everything and probably a mistake to try and cram in too much, it was so helpful to be with a group of people who had been before and knew the ropes as it were. I would say you need to go to with a church group to get the most out of it. Incidentally, the venue is moving in 2019 to Peterborough, having been at Shepton Mallet for 30 years.

As for the programme, by far the most inspiring for us was to hear Archbishop Justin Welby talking in the Arena on Re-imagining the Church. It maybe a coincidence that I had just started reading his book the week before. Another speaker, Darren Rouanzoin who leads the Garden Church in Long Beach California also shared some teaching in a very humerous and honest way. This was mainly about the early church as portrayed in Acts concerning the importance of community.

As it says on the website: The church was established on the promise of change – of hearts, families, communities, cities – that the entire history of humanity and the earth itself would be changed by those swept up in this movement of God. The reality of change is rooted in the reality of God’s promise that he will work in and through our lives. This is a cause for celebration!

The weather certainly improved and we enjoyed family times together which made it a very special week.

 We would be happy to talk to anyone more about this, so please ask Liz or Trev.