TORRENTIAL rain and flooding have forced Christian festivals
being staged this month to make contingency plans. Both New Wine
and the Keswick Convention, which open their doors in the next few
days, have been putting in place plans to deal with flooded
The Convention, which starts tomorrow,
is creating extra venues to provide shelter for people on its site.
The programme has not been altered, and campsites are dry enough
for tents, the operations manager, Simon Overend, said.
The Convention was going ahead "in the
spirit of Philippians Chapter 4: 'Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.'"
New Wine has three weeks of
conferences, starting at Shepton Mallet on Saturday 21 July. The
operations team have been monitoring weather, and says that a
"noticeable improvement" is forecast for next week.
"We have been going for 23 years, and
we know the site really well. There are small patches that won't be
suitable for camping, and we are making alternative arrangements,
but it only takes a couple of days of dry weather to dry out," the
operations director, Phil George, said.
The first week is already fully
booked, but spaces are available during the following two
Karen Stafford, the head of festival
for Greenbelt, which is set to take place on 24-27 August, said
that it was less vulnerable to bad weather than other festivals
because the site - Cheltenham Racecourse - combined buildings,
including film venues, with green fields, and had several roadways.
"Great steps" had been taken to improve the infrastructure in the
past two years, she said; there were many floored marquees, and,
new for 2012, an "eco-spirituality venue", Eden.
The director of New Wine, John Coles,
said: "Many of us are praying that God will break through, not only
in the weather, but, more important, into the lives of all of us