Virtually from Sunday 11th to Thursday 15th July 2021.
The Trustees of the Keswick Convention at Portstewart have issued the following statement regarding this year’s event.
“After having to cancel last year’s Keswick at Portstewart, we were looking forward to welcoming you back in person to Portstewart this July with all of our speakers booked and preparations under way for this year’s event. However, the ongoing situation with COVID-19 has sadly led us to conclude as Trustees that a physical event will not be possible this year. Instead we will be moving our event online for 2021. In reaching this decision, we have considered a number of questions, including…
Would an event be allowed legally?
While the summertime will hopefully see a much-improved picture in terms of a significant reduction of the transmission of COVID-19, the likelihood is that restrictions will still apply to large scale gatherings such as Keswick at Portstewart.
Would an event be enjoyable?
As well as the quality Bible teaching, part of the appeal of Keswick at Portstewart is the opportunity to catch up with others around the site, in the café, at the Missions Exhibition or browsing the bookshop. With restrictions that would most likely still be in place including social distancing and face covering, much of this appeal of the event would be lost.
Would an event be financially viable?
We are so grateful for the financial support that so many of you have given us and we are so aware that support has been given to enable the future of Keswick at Portstewart. You’ll appreciate that running a week of Keswick at Portstewart would incur the same costs as most other years, but an event with social distancing requirements would mean much lower income. We in no way would wish to put the long-term future of Keswick at Portstewart at risk.
Would an event be practically achievable?
As you know, Keswick at Portstewart is run entirely by volunteers. With all of the additional health and safety demands that running an event this year would bring, we felt that this was an unreasonable expectation to place upon our volunteers, many of whom have had an extremely busy year in their homes, workplaces and local churches.
Would an event be socially responsible?
We trust that by July the situation with COVID-19 will have improved significantly. However, even if Keswick at Portstewart could proceed this year, we don’t believe that it would be socially responsible and neighbour-loving to organise a large-scale event in such an uncertain climate. We in no way would want to be responsible for any additional spread of the virus.
We recognise that many will be disappointed, as we are, at this decision. We’ve felt it important to take this decision at this stage for the purposes of clarity for our Keswick at Portstewart community, particularly since many arrange accommodation early in the year. While we will once again miss being together on site this summer, we look forward to having you join with us Online for Keswick at Portstewart: Virtually from Sunday 11th to Thursday 15th July 2021. Look out for more details over the coming months.”
For more information and to keep up to date with details of this year’s online event, log on to www.keswickatportstewart.org