The City Summer School
Week 1 14-21 July | Week 2 21-28 July 2017
[Click here for brochure]
The City Summer School is a week of Bible teaching, relaxation and fun that aims to refresh all who come, from those exploring the Christian faith and asking questions, to those who have been involved for many years.
The Summer School is held at Ashburnham Place, a Christian conference centre near Battle, East Sussex. The centre is in the heart of 220 acres of landscaped grounds with woods, lakes and stunning gardens designed by Capability Brown.
A week for...
men and women who are involved in lunchtime ministries in the City (such as those in Gospel @ Work or similar), for young and old, singles and married couples, and their children of all ages.
A week to grow...
as God's word is explained, with time to reflect, discuss and pray. Many people value the space away from the constant demands of busy routines to stop and think, to be helped, equipped and challenged to live for Jesus at home and at work.
A week of encouragement...
with plenty of time to get to know God better, to sing and pray together, to engage in stimulating discussions with like-minded people and to hear from others in similar situations, both in the office and at home. Children and young people enjoy age-appropriate teaching, with activities and games, in a safe and happy environment. Experienced helpers run a crèche for babies and toddlers to allow parents to learn together during the morning.
A week of holiday...
to enjoy catching up with old friends and making new ones. The afternoons provide many opportunities to relax, to play games, sport and music, and to explore the beautiful grounds and Sussex countryside and coast. There is ample space at Ashburnham for football, cricket, croquet and volleyball, as well as lakes for boating, canoeing and swimming.
A week of Bible teaching...
Andy Gemmill, who trains pastors at Cornhill Scotland, will be teaching us in the morning from Jonah. Andy says, ‘The story of Jonah is very familiar, but the book of Jonah is perplexing. Why does he run? Why is he so angry? Why does Jesus use him as an example? Why is he in the Bible at all? It's a thoroughly interesting story with a challenging and reassuring message.’
In the evenings we shall be in the book of Romans with David Cook, former principal of the Sydney Missionary & Bible College. David says, "Romans is crucial because it reminds us that the Gospel is both exclusive and all about what God has done, it therefore sets us in an assured and certain eternal relationship with Him.”
What people are saying...
‘[discussion groups were] … the personal highlight for me. I thoroughly enjoyed my entire group and was able to get to know people that bit better. … Everyone was included but without too much pressure. What a pleasure.’
‘I thought it was an excellent balance of structured football/cricket on three [afternoons], along with three [afternoons] of effectively of free time. I enjoyed both the football and cricket.’
‘We just loved it – we will be back!’ [first timers]
‘There was so much content in the teaching I am looking forward to listening to the talks again. This quiet time with [my wife] was the highlight of the time it is without doubt the most time we have spent together quietly studying God's word and also praying together and it really helped us to get clear on our focus for the next couple of years and how we put listening at the feet of Jesus and how we get involved in and support gospel ministry as our focus.’
‘At every moment I felt included, loved, cared for and safe!’ [first-time child]
‘We had such a wonderful time. So well run and thought through. Obviously honed over the years. Childcare was a real blessing too.’ [first-timer]
‘The morning sessions were exceptional, with a strong message very appropriate for the church today, delivered with a gentle firmness which we found impressive. Andy [Gemmill] opened up the Bible in a way which touched us all.’
‘I had a wonderful time... building friendships with each other as we can support each other through the challenges of working in the City and sharing the gospel. As a single City worker, [this is one of few] opportunities to meet and really connect with other like-minded individuals.’
‘The friendliness and consideration of people toward me (and the boys) was overwhelming.’
‘This is the first time we have visited Ashburnam and we were amazed as to how beautiful it was. It was small enough to be social but big enough that you could get some time alone. It was set in lovely grounds and there was plenty to do nearby. The accommodation was good, perfect to meet our needs for a week. Top tip is to get up early for the shower when the water pressure is good :-) The highlight for the venue though was the freedom it gave [our five-year old daughter] to go out and play unsupervised on her own it was amazing to let her have some freedom and time to explore and play with her new friends.’
‘A brilliant morning discussion group: great leaders and a really committed group, happy to be honest and share. This is a great part of the week.’
‘… it really is the highlight of our year.’
‘Very helpful and thought-provoking Bible teaching.’
‘The evening sessions [in the Songs of Ascents Psalms] [were] a great encouragement, material that should be revisited regularly.’
‘The hot chocolate was great!’
‘Tasty [food], good variety, nutritious, love the salads and fresh fruit available too.’
‘Ashburnam is welcoming and lets us use it as a kind of home for a large “family”.’
‘It is good to offer more strenuous [afternoon] activities as well as gentler ones. All ages were catered for without there being too many choices.’
‘… there was a great mix of activities, both on- and off-site. I never felt like there were long stretches of time with nothing interesting to do, but there was also no pressure to join in activities if I didn't feel like doing so. Cricket was probably the highlight.’
‘The discussion groups were excellent; I learnt so much and it felt like church family.’
‘… the weather was brilliant and the kids want to come next year.’
‘Having all-age activities is special, it encourages me in seeing us as a family of God together and for the children to see that adults can have fun too! It seems to provide a counterculture to modern individualism and computer games.’
‘Highlights include the final-afternoon cricket and cream tea.’
‘The food was really good – particularly enjoyed the desserts this year.’
Cost - includes all meals (en suite in brackets)
Adult: £450 (£580); 5-17s: £250 (£300); Under-5s: £85 (£85)
Email Alan Bright to register interest.
We do not want finances to prevent people coming. There is a bursary fund and we may be able to offer help on a case-by-case basis. Please let us know.
The summer school starts with dinner on Friday (rooms available from 4:30pm) and finishes with breakfast the following Friday.