CS Regional Conference (North)
Report on Christian Surfers UK Northern Regional Conference (23rd – 25th Nov)
After an 8 hour, and 300 mile journey from Nailsea I finally arrived at Scarborough at 4.00pm on Fri 23rd November. Unfortunately too late for a surf, but just in time to see some nice swell lines rolling into South Bay.
The reason for making this journey was to run the first Christian Surfers UK Regional Conference in the North, which was aimed at attracting members and enquirers from Scotland, the North East, and the North West. The location was the Youth Hotel Association’s premises at Boggle Hole, near Whitby, Yorkshire.
After a 3-mile trek down a single-track road, I finally located the hostel - I did not realise it was ˝ mile walk from the car to reach the hostel, and it was pitch black. I managed to reverse the car down a very steep hill, off-load, and then return the vehicle, thanks to the help of Dave from Sheffield.
Early the next morning the full splendour of the site became clear as we could see the sea from our dorm window, and could appreciate the lovely little valley, which Boggle Hole was located in.
In some respects you could say it was slightly disappointing, with only 9 members from North and Scotland attending, but I was really encouraged by the fact that I had not met many of the team before, and we had numerous responses from others who wanted to attend, but just could not make this weekend. We had a great time, so for next year, keep an eye out as we plan to fix the date early on.
Friday night was just a ‘chill’ night and we got to know each other a little bit. We trekked over the top on a beautiful moon-drenched night to Robin Hoods Bay to grab some food.
As we took this walk over the top of the cliffs we could see reef after reef with potential - unfortunately it was on-shore, however, the potential looked good.
Saturday was a freezing day, very cold with a strong southwesterly wind. After breakfast we had fellowship and worship led by Scott and Karl, big thanks guys - and also a little quiet time before we set off for a good little surf at Catton Bay - with 2 foot clean off-shore waves. By the time we returned and had lunch it was about 3.30pm and we met up with Pete from Ravenscar and had a good chat about Christian Surfers and watched some of the DVDs from the previous year.
We had a good meal together on the Saturday night, and during the evening we looked at the work of Christian Surfers International and what God was doing through surf ministry throughout the UK and Ireland, as well as the rest of the world. Some great stories were told of what God is doing.
Sunday morning dawned with less wind; clearer skies and we had a final session together looking at the ‘foundation’ course for introduction to leadership of Christian Surfers. We were joined by the full team for the weekend for a great 2 ˝ session looking at the basics of what Christian Surfers is all about, and what its not !! We were encouraged that from now there will be a strong network of contacts in the region, which can be built on slowly but surely.
Following that we returned to Catton, where it was now about solid 6 foot and on-shore. We therefore retreated back to the safer climes of a very cold but clean Scarborough South Bay.
Top prize for effort must go to Karl from Wigan who took his surfboard, wetsuit, cloths and guitar, via a bus, two trains, and then hitched down to Boggle Hole. This was a monumental effort. I awarded myself the ‘Not so clever prize’ for the weekend for grabbing the wrong wetsuit, when I left home, so paddling out into the North Sea in November in a 3/2 wetsuit - it was so cold, that will teach me.
A huge thanks to those who came – Iain, Merry, Baby Caleb, Peter, Scott, David, Karl, Lee, Jesse and Peter. We were really blessed by their enthusiasm and had a great time, in a great venue - and look forward to being back there again next year with hopefully at least double the numbers.
Thanks guys for hosting me.