The walls of Mike and Marcia Christian’s home in Cumbria once again creaked as it was filled to bursting with more than 60 people for the biennial VCF Northern Conference in February. It was a weekend filled with Bible teaching, fellowship, food and lots of fun!

After times of singing and worship led by a mixture of graduates and students, Jim Murkett led the bible studies (page 6), interspersed by copious amounts of coffee and cakes and time to chat and share together.

Time off on Saturday afternoon allowed for an invigorating hike for the more energetic, or a gentle stroll for the families and others to feed the ducks.

 The infamous VCF Ceilidh on the Saturday evening encompassed all ages from 3 years old to the retired, and the steps from the living to the dining area just added to the fun! The traversing the kitchen table didn’t disappoint, with many folk rising (or falling!) to the challenge!

The conference is always a time of huge encouragement and sharing as students find places to see practice or folk to be mentors later on. For those just starting in practice it was a chance to meet others nearby to help them settle into a new area as they begin on what is often a very challenging journey. The older ones take the opportunity to support and encourage those coming up behind them as well as others who find practice life challenging and to discuss some of the big questions we face. The large number of families with children helped to remind us that the fellowship is all part of the family of God.