Sean O’Farrell stumbled across Creation Fest on the internet. By the end of the weekend, he’d found the truth he was searching for 

TIMS Camping Creation Fest Monday 1st August 2022 - 18

I grew up in a household that never spoke about God. By 16, I was getting into relationships and seeking love, but I got hurt, which led to issues with trust and self-worth. I fell into depression and anxiety. I struggled with alcohol, using it to make me feel better and give me confidence. By the time I was at Falmouth University studying graphic design, that spiralled into smoking weed and taking other drugs, including psychedelics. 

At the end of my first year, I embarked on a project looking at a company in Malaysia who collected recycling and repurposed it, working with the local community to produce something they could sell. That set a fire in my heart to change something. But the more I looked at the state of the planet, and myself, the weight of the world crushed me.

I invested a lot of time and money in therapy, self-help and medication to tackle my depression but nothing really worked. I was totally hopeless and started to think about suicide. I became cynical and bitter, angry at myself, the world and what we were doing to each other. I realised that the environmental crisis was the fruit of a root problem, which was the human heart. That led me on a spiritual journey. 

I took my meditation to a more extreme level, exploring the concepts of consciousness and loving awareness. I explored horoscopes, Tarot cards, soul contracts, runes, Eastern philosophies…but it made everything worse. 

Searching for more

While I was studying, I was working for a brewery. At a food and drink expo [at the Royal Cornwall Events Centre] three people stopped to ask if we made a non-alcoholic beer. They had an air about them. I asked: “Who are you? What are you doing?” It was the Creation Fest team. They told me they would be holding a festival there a few months later.

I was like: A Christian festival? Not really my thing. I didn’t think anything more of it. Four months later, I moved home to Exeter after a break-up. The next day, I felt a random prodding to google Buddhist festivals. I found one that had happened the weekend before and thought: OK, that boat has sailed. Then I googled Christian festivals. 

Up to that point, I hadn’t really considered Christianity, but a week before, friends of mine got married. They were Christians and what I found beautiful about their wedding, as somebody who didn’t know Jesus, was that it wasn’t just about them. I heard that God wanted to be in a marriage covenant with us. I thought that was really interesting so I started to ask some questions. A few weeks later, I [found myself] googling Christian festivals. The next weekend was Creation Fest. I thought: Wow! It’s a sign!

I went on my own and camped by the lake. It was so peaceful. When the first worship session started, all of this stuff that had been hidden away came to the surface. I started crying in a way I hadn’t for a long time. It was quite overwhelming. 

To be honest, I thought I would go and speak to the Christians, and then piece it together with everything else. But from that first service, there was no denying this was serious. I learned that Jesus said: “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” [John 14:6]. I was looking for God, and no one, in any of the other ways that I’d explored, had said: “I am the way.” I was like: That’s all I need to know!

I spent the whole weekend worshipping, going to all the sermons; I was in and out of the prayer tent with questions. People came up to me and said: “I have a verse for you.” It was undeniable that God was there, even before I knew him, keeping me going so that I could come to know him. 

I thought: OK, what do I do now? Do I go in half-heartedly? Or wholeheartedly? Because you can’t call yourself a Christian if you’re not willing to deny yourself and give up everything. I took that very seriously. I was scared because, if you read the Bible, it’s life-changing. It had huge implications for my future, my relationships – everything. 

A no-brainer

In the prayer tent, I had a vision of my desk, with loads of books and articles on it, papers everywhere. It was chaos. That was me, trying to seek the truth, but it was confusing and I couldn’t work it out. Then I saw two hands, holding a key. I felt God say: “You can take this now or later.” As soon as I took it, the hand cleared the whole desk and replaced the chaos with one book, the Bible. 

You can’t call yourself a Christian if you’re not willing to deny yourself and give up everything

I got baptised at the festival that weekend. To me, it was a no-brainer. I was so empty, I had nothing to die to. I wanted to die anyway. From there, my old life was behind me and my new life was in front.

I came to Creation Fest looking for peace, but the Christian life is actually very difficult, too. Not running away from things takes a lot of courage but my faith gives me the strength to persevere, knowing that perseverance produces “character; and character, hope” [Romans 5:3-5]. I am now a missionary in Dublin, Ireland, preaching the word and serving God. I have hope now, and confidence that God is with me in everything.  

Sean O Farrell was speaking to Emma Fowle, who had the privilege of baptising him at Creation Fest in 2022. Follow him on Instagram @soul.of.sean 

Creation Fest takes place 1-4 August at the Royal Cornwall Events Centre, Wadebridge. Find out more and book tickets at