End of the road as Living Water closes down
By Keith Morris
Well-known Norfolk Christian Festival Living Water and the Ashill-based Living Water Trust has been closed down and the festival will not be running again in the future.
The decision was made at a meeting of the Living Water trustees on December 5 and means that after ten years, the biggest Christian Festival in the Eastern region will not be staged again.
The move also means that four part-time employees of the Trust will lose their jobs.
Chair of Trustees, Dave Gardner, said: “It has been difficult for us to cover the cost of the event each year. Keeping the entrance fees as low as possible in order that the festival may be affordable to all, and in line with other similar events, has meant that it has always been necessary for us to take up a substantial offering at the event, for which we have been grateful. Costs have increased as Living Water has grown, but even with steady growth in delegate numbers we have not managed to get anywhere near break-even point.
“For some time, we have been in discussion with New Wine regarding the possibility of their being able to support the event – perhaps as ‘New Wine East’. These discussions have now finally come to a conclusion. The New Wine
leadership has stated that it does not, at this time, want to support an event of this nature in our region.
“We are very grateful for the opportunity that God has given us to work for Him in this region over the last ten years or so.”
Over the last decade the Festival has seen thousands of people converge on the Royal Norfolk Showground at Costessey near Norwich for up to five days to hear from big-name speakers including Jackie Pullinger, Brother Yun, Tony Campolo and Nicky Gumbel.
Event manager Heather Nunn,
said: “This summer we had almost 3,000 people who stayed for the whole event with another 3,000 people attending for a day. A number of initiatives have come from it including Call to Prayer
, campaigning organisation Speak
and many individuals who have embarked on Christian and missionary work partly because of the Festival.
“The event was intended to be primarily a regional one to equip the church to move forward and the thousands of day visitors were one of the unique things about the festival. But we also attracted visitors from all over the world including Spain, Nigeria and Australia.
“Without a significant partner such as New Wine the trustees felt we could not continue with the event. They also felt that God may be wanting to do a new thing in our region.”
Trustee Stephen Mawditt,
said: “It is as important to hear the Lord say ‘stop’ as it is to motor on through the green lights. Living Water has played its part in helping us experience more of the Kingdom in this area over the past 11 years.
“So many people have faithfully invested in Living Water over this period; there is bound to be disappointment over its loss but let’s first of all celebrate and thank God for all that He has done in drawing many people closer to Jesus and releasing His life into our churches. Then let us focus on the future.
“The Kingdom of God is not static; the pillar of fire moves on; green shoots can only emerge when space is released into which they can grow. Let’s get behind initiatives such as Hope ‘08 and New Wine. Let’s watch this space for the new thing God would seek to do.”
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Pictured above are memories from past Living Water Festivals including Brother Yun and Living Water Radio.