A new collective gathering for Christian creatives, visionaries and makers designed to encourage and equip people to live out their creativity in a way that glorifies God and builds the Kingdom.

Wide Open began with a desire to gather a group of like-minded passionate people in a beautiful green space to share their stories, affirm one another and to focus on Jesus. As creatives there are many things we wrestle with on our journeys to make and create and perform. How do we do self-promotion and humility at the same time? How do we straddle the gap between secular culture and the kingdom of God? How do we keep our gaze fixed on Jesus and not on others?  How do we hold on lightly to our achievements and disappointments?

I knew that I wanted Wide Open to be an expression of my desire for authentic connection, truth-based content and practical skills-sharing. I’m so happy with the amazing team I have gathered to share their stories and practice and so excited to be bringing together a group of people who want to help grow a thriving creative network in the North.

Wide Open sets itself apart in fostering that authentic connection by bringing a small group of people outside to spend time under the canopy of trees, around a campfire and surrounded by God’s creation. Bringing people into the wild naturally strips away any guards we may hold up and we invite each person to bring their own offering, to be affirmed and encouraged and to leave reminded that above all else Jesus is our most precious gift.

There will be plenty of practical input by our speakers and time to network and chat about new projects, ideas and collaborations but it will all be infused with the constant reminder that all that we have is a gift from the Lord and that in everything we should seek Him first.

I also want people to have plenty of time just soaking up creation and filling their lungs with fresh air. We’ll have resting time in hammocks, some fun in the wild and good feasting underneath the stars.

This is God’s project and I’m just his hands, with all my limitations and weaknesses, but I’m really excited to see how he uses this weekend to realign our focus and draw us closer to him and how new relationships will offer long-term support and encouragement for every individual who joins us.

See you in the woods!

Beth (Forest Found-event organiser).