VCF Northern Weekend 2018

The Northern Conference is always a great time to catch up with old friends and meet some new folk for the first time. It’s even more special now that our kids can do the same as us. Also to be encouraged by some great bible teaching from Tim Proudlove was fantastic. I think I was most encouraged by the thought that Daniel was an old man by the time he was thrown into the lion’s den, so he had a lifetime of refining his faith for the ultimate test he would eventually face.
God uses our everyday challenges to teach us how to follow him so when the greater trials come we will know God more intimately and that will help us to endure. Rob

It seems like only yesterday that Tim Proudlove came as a student to our house for a Northern VCF Conference. Now he is back with a wife and two children, for this his second time as our speaker. The talks on living well as a Christian in a secular society based on Daniel were really helpful. Living well as a Christian means living in tension, living in the grey areas of life. Daniel was working for the enemy of God’s people, as a slave, in a foreign land. He was not living in a perfect world with easy choices but studying Babylonian literature, doing things in the Babylonian way, in a world where God’s presence was not acknowledged. Yet he and his friends drew lines in the sand and honoured God. They engaged with the ordinary, Babylonian life and yet they trusted in God even though they knew the cost.
I have been thinking about where I draw the line in some areas of my life as a consequence. Where do we compromise? Where do we say no?
The answers are not always easy but thinking and praying about them is half the answer. Meeting other vets and chatting through these issues is what the VCF is all about.
Thank you to all who made the weekend happen, everyone who helped from tidying up and with the children, to the musicians, session leaders and speakers. Mike

We really enjoyed the VCF weekend. It was great to see old friends and make new ones! The teaching was excellent and the seminars were very useful. Marcia’s food was wonderful of course! Leonie

I’ve been going to VCF since I was a student and I didn’t miss a single one then. It’s been trickier to get to VCF conferences since I graduated, but it’s always a highlight of the year, a chance to reacquaint with old friends, see their growing families and meet new members and students. This year I really wanted to come to introduce my husband to the VCF family. The northern conference has such a lovely relaxed friendly atmosphere, like a giant family weekend away and not like CPD at all! It was great to connect with Tim Proudlove again after so many years and to hear his inspired teaching. The fellowship makes me come back time and time again, but it’s the teaching which always makes me glad I came. Bryony

This was my third northern conference and my fifth conference overall. I first went to a VCF northern conference at Mike and Marcia’s when I was in my second year at university.
I really enjoy the conferences. It’s great to meet up with other vets, vet nurses and their families and worship God together. It’s a really special time, and very refreshing both physically, emotionally and spiritually. The thing I enjoyed most was the atmosphere. That so many different people can come together, from so many different church and veterinary backgrounds and yet gel so well is always encouraging! Jenni

My first Northern VCF conference and I felt instantly welcomed. Everyone was so friendly and I didn’t feel new for very long!

Bob and I are recently back from working as missionaries in Thailand. We have so appreciated the support we received from VCF over the years and now that we are back in Scotland we would like to support the VCF family as far as we are able. We have been to a Northern conference in Mike and Marcia’s home before but many years ago and so it was great to be back and now catch up with some of the Northern VCF family.
Everyone coped so well with the new venue at the convent in Wigton and thank you to the committee who coped so well with the logistics, the meals and ceilidh etc. The Bible readings in Daniel were very helpful and I so enjoyed the worship times as well. Most of all it was good to renew old friendships and to get to know some of the newer members. THANK YOU! Jan

This is actually my second time attending a VCF conference! I also attended the combined conference last year. I had such an amazing experience last year. Being able to get to know Christian vets and being able to grow closer to my friends within vet school, I knew I had to come again this year! I really enjoyed being in such a supportive and loving environment. I am an international student and don’t get to visit home as much as I would like, so sharing fellowship with so many other Christian vets and students made me miss home that much less and truly felt like a privilege. I ended the conference feeling encouraged in my studies and with a renewed conviction in my faith. Grace

This was my third conference, and my favourite part was the great sense of community as we met together. It was also a privilege to be a part of the worship and be able to share communion with everyone there. Plus, the food was incredible as always! David

I came up to the Northern conference feeling tired in body and tired in spirit. I went away refreshed in body and soul; by a lovely weekend of good food and good company; by some fantastic teaching and glorious times of worship; by being blessed by so many individual conversations and by the fantastic ceilidh! Ben.

The Conference was amazing. There was fantastic food and company with time for friendship and fun but also time for quiet and reflection. I loved the opportunity to play in the band and the live music and dancing on Saturday night. Although the nurse lecture was only Hayley and I, I really appreciated the time together with a cup of tea. It was a chance to think about what had already been said and what we as Christian nurses can bring to a practice, which was really useful and inspiring. My son Wilfred came away from the Conference saying could he please come again next year! A big success all round. Many thanks. Helena

Wigton – the home of the John Peel Theatre!  Not many people know that!!  Would more have come if they had? Anonymous!

I have lost count of how many VCF conferences I have been to and I have enjoyed every one of them. I went for the first time while at University and made some wonderful friends, and now go back to catch up with everyone! I love the fellowship, worship and teaching in a very relaxed setting. Sharing our faith and profession is hugely important to me. I receive so much love and support through VCF. The Northern conference provided some much needed encouragement. Penny

It was my second VCF conference and I was amazed when I arrived on Friday evening how many people remembered me from last year and made me feel so welcome. The weekend was a lot of fun despite the looming fear of exams. I was very thankful to Joy for helping me with some endocrinology cases and everyone else’s reassurance. The food was absolutely amazing. Thanks again Mike and Marcia and to all who organised the weekend. I feel part of the VCF family and I can’t wait for next year. Joanna

My first VCF visit was in late 1999/early 2000 in my first year at Glasgow. I would estimate I’ve been to close to half of the meetings in the years since then, but more regularly when I was a student and I hadn’t been for a couple of years. This year the timing and location were right – we move around the country a lot, as my husband is posted to different army jobs so sometimes conferences can seem like a very long drive away. Also, not having a major sporting event pending meant I didn’t need to worry about loss of training time and could just enjoy a social weekend. I most enjoyed the chance to catch up with some vet friends I haven’t seen for several years and in many cases to meet their little ones! I loved meal times and the way people mixed and struck up new conversations in diverse groups and the crumble. Elaine

This was my first ever VCF conference and I absolutely loved it! As a final year student full of a mixture of excitement and anxiety about what comes next it was great to connect with Christian vets who are out there in the work place serving God in their communities. I particularly appreciated chatting to recent graduates and hearing their top tips for job hunting and the early months in practice. Tim’s teaching from Daniel was wonderful. I learned that I can still serve God by being faithful whilst living a “second choice life” in a secular workplace where tension is inevitable. Lucy

This must be about our fourth or fifth VCF conference, and we keep coming back because we really like seeing the many friends we’ve made through VCF. It’s lovely to catch up with how people are doing. We’ve had so much encouragement and support from VCF members over the years, but it’s also great to be able to try to encourage others too. Studying what the Bible has to say and talking with other people facing similar challenges helps bring fresh insight and understanding. It’s also fantastic to meet new people, especially some of the students, and have the opportunity to help them as they are starting their veterinary careers. Helen and Mike



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