From miraculous healings to unexpected salvation, eight Christians share their testimonies of what God did one summer in a very muddy field… 

“I was healed at Newday”

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Daisy Witherall

Growing up, faith was always around me, but it wasn’t something I ever grabbed hold of myself. Sports were my passion – athletics, hockey, anything that got my adrenaline pumping. Then, at 13, everything changed. A bad fall at gymnastics left my arm shattered. The doctors were blunt – surgery, a metal plate and a future where my arm would never straighten past a 90-degree angle. My world crumbled. Sport was everything to me, and now it was gone.

Lost and confused, I questioned everything. Where was God in this? Didn’t he care? I remembered stories my parents told of miracles. Could he do that for me too? 

When my mum suggested I attend Newday with my cousin’s youth group, honestly, I wasn’t thrilled. It was hours away, and I wouldn’t know anyone. But eventually I caved.

Newday was electric. This was raw, real faith and, for the first time, I felt something tugging at my heart. Then came the healing service. There I was, walking around with my useless arm, listening to a preacher speak about the power of God to heal. A crazy thought struck me: If God could heal my arm right now, I would dedicate my life to him. It was a desperate plea, a silent promise hanging in the air.

When the call for prayer came, my new friends gathered around me. As they prayed, my arm started to move. The pain vanished, replaced by a tingling warmth spreading through the finger that had been numb. Tears welled up in my eyes. It was real. The doctors said it was impossible, but God did it anyway.

That night, I wasn’t just healed physically. It was a spiritual awakening. The undeniable power of God’s love washed over me, and I knew I wanted to spend my life following him. Newday wasn’t just a conference; it was a turning point. It was the day my broken arm became an open heart, ready to embrace a life dedicated to Jesus.

Newday takes place from 29 July – 2 August at Norfolk Showground. For more information visit

“I went to Refuel a dope-smoking hard drinker. I left with a new life and new love”

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Aaron Wootton-Farrell

In 2018, I was 21, working as a barman, living alone in England when my mother encouraged me to come up to Scotland to a Christian festival that she was involved in called Refuel.

I wasn’t a Christian. I was just a young, dope-smoking, hardworking, hard-drinking youngster who was perfectly happy where I was.

But I headed north – reluctantly – and took a case of lager with me, intending to just chill and do my own thing.

I pitched my tent and met the event team, who worked with my mother. I got roped into helping with set-up and I loved it! There was joy, banter, kindness, love and life over the next few days, and I felt different. I hardly touched my stash of beer.

There was a girl there, Jessica, doing event photography. I was instantly drawn to her, but she didn’t seem interested. Nothing happened, but I was besotted!

In the coming week I came to realise that the Holy Spirit was real and that Jesus wanted to save me from myself. I was saved and baptised at the event. 

The next year, I was back at Refuel as a volunteer. I continued to get to know Jesus and grow in my faith – and I continued to pursue Jessica. I knew that she was special and that God was in this! By the beginning of 2020, we’d started dating. We got married and have since been blessed with a beautiful baby boy, Noah.

My wife and I now lead worship together all over Scotland, but it all began at Refuel. I give thanks for this festival, for how the presence of God turned my life around and for every blessing that has flowed since.

Refuel takes place from 22-25 July at Gordon Castle Estate in the Scottish Highlands. For more information visit

“I found God at Greenbelt”

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Anton Thompson-McCormick 

As a child travelling through the backroads of Ulster’s Bible Belt, I used to peer out at all the scripture verses nailed onto trees. My favourite was a red sign with a hand-painted question in white: “Eternity Where?” It was meant to make us think about heaven or hell but, as a child, the question meant something different. It held a certain magic. “Eternity – where?” Among those mountains, the answer seemed clear: “Where else but here?” It was testament to my granny’s gentler Calvinism that I was never corrected. 

That memory came back to me on my first-ever night at Greenbelt in 2021. In the years before, I’d come out as gay and left religion. I had only recently found my way back, and now I was at a Christian festival. All this had unfolded over the course of my 20s, but it felt raw and I was still finding my feet. I had heard Greenbelt was a sanctuary for people deconstructing their faith, and I thought I knew what to expect: less piety, more politics; a chance to heal, to draw a line in the sand with the past’s contradictions. That first day turned out to be something entirely different. 

I’d just been to a queer-themed disco but, before that, I had been in a field of Methodists, singing old hymns. Later, I’d have a deep conversation with a stranger about the Bible. The next day, I’d pound my fists to punk rhythms and thresh wheat in a forest, listening to the book of Ruth. This wasn’t deconstruction but the forging of something new out of all the old. I was being reconciled with something I thought I’d lost forever. 

At Greenbelt, you learn that even in the moments where God isn’t explicitly mentioned, all of it is meaningful. It’s there in the faces of people in the queues; in the writing of poems at a transgender workshop; in the midnight chat with struggling friends. All of life is raised up, but it doesn’t take us away from reality. Rather, the radiance and challenge of a more faithful perception find their way into the rest of our worlds: “Eternity where?” Eternity here – and here – and here.

Greenbelt Festival takes place 22-25 August at Boughton House, near Kettering. For more information visit

“I left my lukewarm Christianity behind at Cedarwood”


Lydia Cooper

At the start of 2022, the Lord told me this was the year of my baptism. But I didn’t give it much further thought. The weekend of Cedarwood Festival fell on a difficult week for me and I arrived at the festival with a lack of expectancy. 

On the Friday evening, I went to the 24-7 prayer tent. After a while my family decided to leave, but I felt I should linger longer. I stayed to worship and pray and, a couple of hours later, I received a prophetic word from the worship leader. My spirit was stirred and I truly felt seen by God. Looking back, this was the beginning of my transformation away from lukewarm Christianity.

The youth programme at Cedarwood was focused on equipping us to share the gospel. As the weekend continued, God began to break my heart for the lost. On the Sunday, there was a chance for anyone who wanted to be baptised to come forward. After watching my brother Adam step forward, share his testimony and be baptised, I felt led to do the same. Many of my church family were there and I laid down my life in that moment to be a follower of Christ.

The transformation I felt was surreal. I received a new perspective on life. A new burden to share with others fell upon me. We had the opportunity to go out onto the streets of Durham and do just that.

Two years on, Cedarwood is not just a festival I go to, but a community I belong to that meets throughout the year and gathers outside the walls of the traditional Church. The encouragement through those I met at Cedarwood has allowed me to grow in my evangelism. I thank God for the work he started and continues in my life, and I thank God for Cedarwood Festival. 

Cedarwood Festival takes place from 12-14 July at Thorp Perrow, North Yorkshire. For more information visit 

“I was revived at Revive”

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Simon Maer

I went to Revive for two reasons: firstly, my kids desperately wanted to be there and secondly, I wanted to finally win the notorious Sunday afternoon race around one of the Ashburnham lakes! 

The kids had an amazing week (as expected) and got fully involved in their groups. They made some great friends and all experienced God in a fresh way that led to lasting change in their lives. One daughter has now been baptised and another is planning to take the plunge this year. 

It’s hard to articulate what makes Revive so, well, reviving! I’m sure the heart and nature of Ichthus Christian Fellowship has something to do with it; Ichthus are like an extended family who love God’s word, are filled with his Spirit and are hungry for his purposes. Maybe it is the beauty of Ashburnham Place, a stunning setting blessed with an atmosphere that makes connecting with God so uncomplicated. Perhaps it’s the fun of first-night fireworks, a midweek fête, great food, cafés, talent shows, sports competitions, late-night youth venues and so much more! Whatever it is, you get a distinctive feeling of coming home every time you descend the long driveway towards the venue.

If I’m honest, I was feeling dry and a bit off centre in my walk with God before I arrived last year. Work had been busy and life’s challenges had taken their toll. But, whatever my motives, it was a wonderful week peppered with moments of encounter with God. I am truly different as a result and the effect has been lasting. I have a new passion for Jesus that wasn’t there before. I’m ready to live in greater freedom, grow in my calling and be unshakeable through challenges big and small. I’ve been going back through the notes I made during the sessions and God continues to speak to me through the words that were shared. 

Thank you to the Revive team. My family’s lives have been truly changed. And I even won the lake race – hallelujah!

Revive takes place 3-10 August at Asburnham, East Sussex. This year marks the 50th year of Icthus Christian Fellowship, and to celebrate, campers can book in for only 10 per cent of the usual fee. For more information visit

“Better together at Big Church Festival”


Charlotte (pictured, right)

When I think of how much Big Church Festival has impacted not only my life, but my best friend’s as well, I don’t know where to begin.

I prayed one day for an event to help me explore my faith through music and, within an hour, an advert for Big Church popped up! I immediately booked and decided on a solo festival trip. After telling my best friend Emily (pictured on the left), she offered to come with me for support. Given she was an atheist, I was concerned how she would take a Christian festival, but she came anyway! 

By the time we went through security, we were so moved by the kindness of the people! Everyone was so genuinely caring (not to mention sober, which is pretty crazy considering the festivals we were used to!). Naturally, we were out of our element and spent the first few hours at the bar, where we got speaking to the woman who was serving. She asked where we were from and, in a hilarious move from God, promptly recommended a church in our area!

There was so much at Big Church to explore and I really got to terms with my beliefs. We spent time in the worship tent, being exposed to the beauty of true vulnerability and humility. People were falling on their knees in worship, crying and calling his name without fear or exposure or intimidation. We saw friends praying for each other or with people they didn’t even know, without hesitation. We danced to Christian techno music and listened to beautiful acoustic sets and spoken word. Big Church has changed our lives forever. Thanks to the woman at the bar, both Emily and I regularly attend the church she recommended. Emily is no longer an atheist and is getting baptised soon. We can’t wait for our second year at Big Church Festival – but this time we’re going knowing God – and plenty more Christian friends as well!

Big Church Festival takes place from 25-26 May at Wiston Estate, West Sussex. For more information visit

“God spoke to me at Summer Madness”


Peter McMorrow 

I’m 17 years old and I’ve been attending Summer Madness since 2018 with Koinonia John the Baptist – a Catholic charismatic community my family are connected to. 

I had a most profound encounter with the Lord at Summer Madness last year. I’m involved with a youth programme called ‘Fearless’, which brings together young people from Protestant and Catholic backgrounds. We were in the middle of worship and I closed my eyes. In my head I could picture everyone around me, but then everything faded away and it was just me, alone and sitting in the dark. I pictured God walking up beside me, taking my hand and walking with me. As we walked, there was a blur of everything going on beside me in my day-to-day life, but I felt the reassurance of God guiding me. I had a strong sense of his promise to be with me and the power of his word. This experience gave me a deeper sense of stability in my life, brought a fresh surrender to the Lord and a new love for scripture. It has continued to mark my walk with God over this past year.

I always look forward to Summer Madness; it provides an opportunity to learn lessons that I can carry throughout my life, as well as gain experiences that stick with me. Over the days of camping, eating together, activities, teaching and worship, bonds with my Christian friends are strengthened and new friendships are made with other young people from across Ireland and beyond. I believe Summer Madness has a key role in developing us as disciples of Jesus and raising leaders across Ireland. I can’t wait for this year’s event and beyond!

Summer Madness takes place from 28 June – 2 July at Portglenone, Northern Ireland. For more information visit 

“Our family loves going to Keswick every year”


Paul Oatridge

We’ve been going to Keswick Convention as a family for the past seven years, and we cannot wait to be back again this July!

There are so many things we love about Keswick Convention. Firstly, it’s a stunning place to have a holiday. We enjoy running along the lakes, climbing the mountains, playing pitch and putt, enjoying the park, scooting through town, watching cricket and visiting the shops. You can have your holiday in whatever accommodation suits you, from camping or caravanning to B&B or cottages; you can be in town or several miles away, nestled among huge mountains.

Secondly, it’s a fantastic spiritual programme that provides encouragement for everyone. Each year we hire a big cottage and bring a variety of people with us. My parents, who are in their 70s, enjoy going to as much as possible – a morning seminar on relevant topics with a chance to think and chat, followed by the Bible teaching and evening celebration. 

Mum still points out where the “old, old site” was when she was a student and remembers the profound impact it had on her decades ago. One of our nieces credits the teaching at Keswick Youth as being formative for her faith when she was confirmed last year. Others have commented on how the youth work has been relevant and engaging.  

It’s free – so all can come, no matter their finances. The vision of Keswick is that everyone is able to attend. The banner reads: “All One in Christ” and it’s great to know that’s true, and that cost, class, accommodation type, amount of meetings attended, hands up or hands down doesn’t differentiate us in the kingdom of God. 

When our kids asked us every day what time their groups started, and then ran in enthusiastically – often forgetting to say goodbye – we realised: Why would we not come somewhere where they love being taught about Jesus? And not only them, but us as well, and those we bring with us. 

Keswick Convention takes place 13-19 July, 20-26 July and 27 July-2 August at the Pencil Factory in Keswick, Cumbria. For more information visit