Cumbrian MP and former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron will be one of the speakers at this year's Keswick Convention.

The South Lakes MP will speak on change in society at the Christian event, which takes place over three weeks in July and August.

He will give the traditional Keswick Lecture during the third week of the event.

Mr Farron will not be the event's only speaker with a Cumbrian link.

Also taking to the stage will be Rebecca McLaughlin, whose family is from Barrow, who is the author of Confronting Christianity: 12 Hard Questions for the World's Largest Religion.

Other people appearing at the event will include Welsh former skateboarder and DJ Dai Hankey, who is a passionate abolitionist and will speak on slavery today.

Newcastle-based singer and Sony Radio Award winner Gareth David Jones will perform as part of the Keswick Unconventional arts programme. He was singer-songwriter in residence at The Mining Institute in Newcastle and has written the album The Unusual Quarterly Days, depicting mining life back as far as the 14th century.

Also appearing as part of Keswick Unconventional will be Japenese artist Kaori Homma, associate lecturer at the University of Arts London, who will exhibit her fire etchings and offering a fire-etching workshop, open to everyone.

Travelling from overseas will be Havilah Dharamraj, academic dean and professor of Old Testament at South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Sciences in Bangalore, India, and Ray Ortlund, pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, USA.

Keswick Ministries, which organises the annual event, say this year's convention will have the theme Longing, focusing on humans' innate desire for God.

James Robson, ministry director, said: “Our lives are filled with desires. We try and meet them through food, love, power and material goods. At the heart of our desire, however, is the longing for purpose and union with Christ. It is this that the theme of this year’s convention will centre around.

"We have speakers from all walks of life exploring this theme. I am particularly looking forward to welcoming speakers such as John Wyatt, professor of ethics at the University of London, who will be exploring the issue of our humanness in the midst of robotics and artificial intelligence.

“It is going to be a very special summer, with much food for thought. While people from all over the world travel to be part of the convention, we particularly want to invite our community here in Keswick and wider Cumbria to come along and explore the Christian faith.”

This year's event will be the 114th Keswick Convention and will take place across the charity's Skiddaw Street and Rawnsley/Derwent sites.

Week one, starting on July 13, will feature John Risbridger as the Bible reader and Colin Webster leading worship.

Week two, from July 20, will feature Vaughan Roberts as Bible reader and the Emu Music worship band leading the music.

Week three, from July 27, will see Ray Ortlund as the Bible reader and Olly Knight and band leading the worship.

For more details about the convention and its programme, visit