It was another amazing weekend in Polzeath for the 24th CSUK National Gathering as the family of Christian Surfers came together to celebrate the previous year and look ahead to another year serving the UK surfing community. Based at the Tubestation, with the beach just over the road and a great forecast all was set for a special weekend – all that was missing was a decent swell! Although this did not stop a few keen ones going out for some early morning ankle snappers.
Around 75 CS members from the UK were joined by a crew from CS Holland as we heard stories of what God is doing in surf communities around the UK as well as looking at the bigger picture of CS in Europe and further afield. It was great to have Dave Bailey, new CSUK trustee and Senior Lecturer in Practical Theology at Oasis College, with us as the main speaker. Dave unpacked the theme verse for this year, ‘And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.’ Colossians 3:17. Dave brought a fantastic word and gave so much to take away from the weekend and inspire us as we move forward.
The Tubestation crew did an amazing job hosting us as ever, helping the weekend to run smoothly and it was a pleasure to present them with a custom made hand plane made by Chris Clark at the end of the weekend. We also recognised CS North Devon for the work they have been doing over the past year as well as Ali Boddy for her commitment to the work of Christian Surfers through a very busy year. We also celebrated with David Renyard who was awarded for his 10 years of service to Christian Surfers.
The highlight of the weekend was the Saturday evening were we started with a time of worship in Tubestation and then headed out to the beach for a time of prayer around a bonfire. After baptising one of the CS Holland crew we paddled out into the sea to continue praying in the water and forming a circle. After this there was a joyous mass surf in the 1ft surf. All this took place under the most amazing sunset that kept growing until the whole sky was red. It is far to say that it was such a special time and one that will stay with us all for a long time. We were lucky enough to have a few talented photographers on hand who captured some stunning images of the evening.
The weekend came to a close on Sunday morning when we were joined by the Tubestation church for a special open air service overlooking Polzeath beach before a final session where we looked ahead to the events on the calendar this year. For those of us interested it was a the weekend finished with a fine 6-1 victory for England in the World Cup!
Thank you to everyone that made the weekend possible and all that came and made it such a special time.