Summer 2009 saw the launch of a new venture. Northern Ark was held for the first time at Hollybush Farm, Thirsk.
Northern Ark is a week's holiday, worship, seeking, teaching, learning and prayer drawing on the rich heritage and experience of different Christian streams. Northern Ark aims to provide high quality teaching as well as giving people the freedom to ask some hard questions about church and faith in UK in 21st century. It also offers the chance to have a go at doing things they maybe had not done before or for a while as well as time for some rest and relaxation in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.
This summer we are Freedom Bound from 15th - 20th August.
Come and join us. It could just change your life.
Read more on the Northern Ark web site.
What others say.
"For me the week at Northern Ark was a life-changing experience. I've been to many Christian camps, ranging from the "Big Top" experiences to church weekends away, but nothing quite like this. To see people broken, healed, restored, vulnerable, fully engaged in worship and fully engaged with community was like a glimpse of heaven." Mike, Nottingham
"We were privileged to attend a new, small but enthusiastic, venture, Northern Ark, in August this year, 2009. During the week we were able to feel very secure in sharing together some insights in to what it means - or should mean! - to be the church, and to live as Christian people in the 21st Century. We came home knowing that we, and our attitudes, would never be quite the same again!
The title given for the week was "Field of Dreams". It was such an exhilarating experience to be able to dream together in the safety of a truly loving Christian Fellowship, and away from the pressures that so easily crowd in on us these days." Michael & Audrey, Keighley
Northern Ark........Changed my life
I felt very alien on the first day. Strong feelings grew that day. That evening I identified those feelings as anger. But I did not think there was anyone there who I could talk to... and then I thought maybe I could talk to X. The next morning while I was in the kitchen, she walked in and asked how I was. I said "I'm so full of anger". She prayed for me and we said we'd meet up later.
We never got that meeting because everything that was then said, from the front and individually, made me cry. I seemed to spend 4 days crying and being prayed for and just held. I had gone to Northern Ark in the middle of what used to be called a nervous breakdown. I thought that after all the tears I would be well when I came home but I wasn't.
But after a couple of weeks what I realised HAD gone was the anger, frustration, hurt that I have carried round for the best part of my life (and I'm 65 so its a lot of years). This healing is amazing: it means I have a chance to sort my life out, it gives me energy. I now know that there is a God I met Jesus in the flesh at Northern Ark. He washed my feet. So gently, as tho' I was the only person in the world that mattered.
And it wasn't all weeping, there was some gnashing of teeth. Many things about the state of the world, the church and where both had run off track, were aired and talked about. This made me realise I wasn't alone in wondering where Jesus' message had gone. Janet, Bingley.
"When I arrived at Northern Ark summer camp 2009, I really didn't know what to expect. I had been involved in a little of the planning so I knew the general ideas for the week, but that didn't really prepare me...
Firstly, I loved the creative elements. The chapel became a place where Sacred Space offered people exactly that, a sacred space. There was artwork all around and beautiful use of material and objects, etc to make it look holy, yet homely. The week involved worship, teaching, art, dance, shared meals, ministry, foot-washing, tears, laughter and hugs - lots of hugs. But what I will remember most was the joy of seeing God at work. Many arrived world-weary, or church-weary, or both but through the week people opened up, shared and allowed God to minister to them, often through the Christ-like acts of being cared for by others, both practically and prayerfully.
People were vulnerable, but through their vulnerability, in what was a safe space, changes took place. I felt that the experiences of ministry would not be of a "quick-fix" style that would be forgotten within a few weeks, but that works God had begun would continue over time and be meaningful to people over a long period. That was certainly my own experience, anyway. Would I recommend next year's Northern Ark to people? I'll see you there!" Clare, Nottingham