The Quinta Christian Conference Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire was the venue for this year’s VCF Weekend at the end of February and was the first face-to-face gathering for two very long years.
If there were any fears that folk would not want to meet in person again, they were quickly dispelled with more than 110 delegates booking in to attend in person, including more than 25 children. In addition, more than 35 had registered to join online.
It was a blessed time to hear from God’s Word, catch up with friends, meet many new people and share fellowship together.
For many, it was their first ever VCF Weekend, but the enticement of the Cadbury’s Crème Egg quiz soon had folk getting to know one another and building some lovely friendships. The Centre itself provided a friendly, homely venue where everyone could relax and unwind.
Guest speakers Bob and Jan Trelogan, whose testimony you will have seen in a recent VCF News, had taken the title “Your Mission, if you choose to accept it…” for their sessions. They looked at the whole theme of mission, and the role that we all must play wherever we are, and whatever our line of work. They used experiences from their many years of work in Thailand, and Jan used the names of God to look at how He had cared for them during their years of service.
A fabulous band sprang up, some of whom had never met before, to produce some wonderful times of sung praise and worship to God.
During Saturday afternoon there was time for seminars, delivered both in person and online, allowing delegates to look deeper into a wide range of subjects of interest to them. Students and young graduates from the various universities were able to meet, share stories, and learn from one another.
A VCF Weekend would not be complete without a ceilidh, and again, a live band sprang up from nowhere, making it even more special than usual! It was a wonderful time for folk to get to know one another better and work off some of the fabulous food that was served up over the weekend.
If you have never been to a VCF Weekend, either in person or online, we hope that these images will help you to see what you have been missing. Maybe you would like to join us when we meet up again next year!
Following the success of last year’s online weekend, it was decided to attempt a fully blended weekend this year. Committee members Gideon and John put in a huge amount of work to allow those joining online to be a significant part of this amazing weekend.
With attendees joining from Northern Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Europe, and America it was a truly international meeting.
In addition, the online component allowed folk who were busy with lambing, calving, or weekend duties, as well as those with Covid, shielding or just physically unable to be there, to be an integral part of this incredibly special weekend.
A dedicated Zoom room allowed some peace and quiet from the busyness of the main meeting room, allowing those online to chat and get to know one another, as well as share with all who visited the room throughout the weekend.
As foundations have been dug and begun to be built on, we look forward to how God will move this amazing part of the ministry of VCF forwards and allow more people to be able to join in remotely when they are prevented from being there in person, and to know that they are such an integral part of this amazing fellowship. And for those able to attend, to know the rich blessings of being together and sharing with so many people who understand that passion for Christ and for the veterinary profession.
Below are just a few of the reflections from those attending either online or in person.
“It’s great that I could join by Zoom from the comfort of my home.”
“We were just very grateful to be able to ‘be there’ on Zoom, and I really enjoyed seeing all the different hosts.”
“Really good to be part of it from hundreds of miles away.”
“A shame I couldn’t be there in person, but I really enjoyed joining in on Zoom.”
“I never thought that there would be a reason to be grateful for Covid, but it has made all of us think outside the box!”
“We really felt part of the weekend on Zoom.”
CEILIDH AND SONG
“What a joy to meet up with people I hadn’t seen for ages, and to meet new people, both in person and on Zoom. For me, a real highlight is always having the students there, and seeing their passion to share Christ with their friends.
Bob and Jan’s talks reminded me that God IS enough. It was a weekend filled with encouragement, laughter, challenge, friendship, great food, and prayer. Bring on next year!”
“It was fantastic to meet as a fellowship at Quinta and have some proper catch ups with old friends and build connections with some of the new members whom I hadn’t met before. After listening to Jan Trelogan retelling a little of their story during one of the sessions, I was really reminded that I need to have faith and relationship with God even when things may be extremely difficult and don’t make any sense. That thought has stuck with me since the weekend. Looking forward to next year already!”
“Beautiful setting, beautiful weather, beautiful people! I enjoyed the opportunity to relate to vets, vet students and those who accompanied them. Bob and Jan’s easy-going and honest account of their missionary lives was excellent.
I particularly liked the brainstorming exercise of what the word “mission” entails.” Alan
“I had an amazing time with all my VCF friends – old and new – at the weekend. The opportunity to gather after two years of being apart was particularly special and one which we have certainly learnt to appreciate all the more! Once again, it was such a unique chance to share fellowship across all ages, stages, and sectors of the profession. To be united, as one voice, in praise of our God despite varied denominations and beliefs is an amazing witness to the unity in Christ that we are called to demonstrate. The testimony and wisdom that Jan and Bob shared with us was certainly inspiring and challenged us to really seek God first and listen to where He wants us to be as his witness and be ready to go! Understanding that our ‘mission field’ is not necessarily going to be a remote and unreached corner of the earth but that God wants us to be spreading His light, love, and message of hope in our everyday life was an important message from this weekend I have taken back to Scotland with me.”
“The VCF weekend was a truly blessed time of reunion, refreshment and re-focusing on our mission in the veterinary world. What a joy to meet up with so many new and returning members of the Fellowship in person. God was alive and well in Quinta that weekend!”
“I had a great time meeting vets, nurses, and students from all different walks of life at the weekend living faithfully. It’s good to know you’re not alone, especially after not seeing people for so long. I hadn’t been to a ceilidh in years either, so that was great!”