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Reform Magazine | September 23, 2019

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Commitment-Phobe: My Christian holiday

Commitment-Phobe: My Christian holiday

What is it with Christians and camping?

Another year, another summer, and another season of my family and me successfully avoiding Christian camping. I recently asked the vicar’s wife: ‘What is it with Christians and camping?’ She promptly and succinctly answered: ‘It’s cheap.’ Fair enough. But with the ever-increasing growth of Christian festivals, with activities, bands, glamping etc – just how cheap is it?

Last year, we looked into going to one well-known Christian festival. After tent hire, equipment hire and the ticket for the event, we were looking at spending just under £500 for three or four days. One can always volunteer, to bring down the cost of attending, but for me, volunteering would get in the way of spending quality time with my family. I might like the break, but I am not sure my family would feel the same way if it involved sleeping on the ground, no access to TV, and communal toilets that are grim after the first hour of the event opening.

I am sure that some of you extol the benefits of the outdoors and getting away from technology and modern creature comforts. Those of you in that camp might say that such experiences bring us closer to our Creator and to our purpose. I want to agree. But I also want to sleep! Add to that my usual summer holiday anxiety due to changes in routine, lack of sleep (change wakes my child up) and the huge stress of organising (tickets, accommodation, activities, three meals a day, what everyone will wear, etc) and Christian camping for me becomes a recipe for a big fat disaster, to which I say a big fat NO!

However, give me three days in a monastery – not a scary one – and I will sign up. No music. Someone else cooks the meals. No talking to anyone. Tons of reading. A few walks. It might lack community spirit, and it might involve leaving my family, but that is my idea of a holiday!

So, with all that in mind, it is a little bizarre, but, I have somehow volunteered myself to organise next year’s church weekend away…

Commitment-Phobe is a Christian

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This is an extract from an article that was published in the September 2019 edition of Reform

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