Back in August we reported that evangelicals who converge on Keswick annually for a convention do nothing for the picturesque Lake District town except throttle tourism and insult the locals by calling them ‘sinners’.
The report followed news that a growing number of locals regard Keswick Convention attendees, headed by James Robson, above, as penny-pinching, mean-spirited interlopers and they don’t want them around.
Following concerns voiced by town traders about the impact the event has on takings, Keswick Ministries held a meeting with businesses and the town council to discuss better ways of working together.
Now the charity, which runs the three-week summer event and small-scale teaching events throughout the year, has set up community drop-ins to improve its communication with residents.
There was concern among businesses after it was revealed the advertised dates for the 2018 convention coincided with the school summer holidays.
Traders said they lost up to 90 per cent of their takings during this year event, and the holidays were a key trading time for them.
Keswick Ministries has since brought forward its 2018 dates, moving the first week into term time.
Now the charity has launched monthly sessions to give residents the chance to meet members of the team and discuss ideas or concerns they have about the convention.
In addition, quarterly town liaison meetings will be held, beginning in November.
The charity is offering businesses physical and online advertising space during the convention, as well as promotion from the event stage.
And it has pledged to cut back on its afternoon programme so people can have more time to enjoy what is on offer in the town.
It is my desire that the Convention inspires a real sense of pride in the town, not just for our ministry work with a ride range of people from all backgrounds across the country, but also for the tangible benefits it brings to Keswick – significant local investment and lifelong loyal visitors.
Hat tip: MalJ