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The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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The Joy of Glamping

When it rained, we had nowhere to hang our coats. When we wanted tea, we had to traipse across a field to fill our kettle. And when nature called at 2am, I faced a serious mind-over-bladder moment, doing my darndest to hold it till morning, lest I had to unzip the tent, rouse my sleeping companions, and incur their wrath.

They call it glamping… And I love it! And not just me; a growing number of us are holidaying in yurts, bell-tents, and tree-houses. The industry’s booming. Why?

Well, it’s cheaper than a cottage, more Covid-safe than a hotel, and more comfortable than its hardier sibling, actual camping.

But there’s something more going on. I think that something more is connection.

There is a greater connection with the world God has made, and the way he made us to be in it. Within minutes of waking up, you’re outside – your lungs absorbing fresh air, your eyes bathed in natural light. You move more, walking to the ‘lav shack’ and back, kicking a ball around with some random kids. Everything takes longer, but there’s no hurry, you’ve got all the time in the world to build your fire and cook your meat (or halloumi, or…).

There’s also a greater connection with the people God has made. You stop and chat to the couple relaxing on their camping chairs as you make your way to the washing-up area. Arriving at the sinks, you connect with someone who five minutes ago was a stranger, but now you’re exchanging stories of parenting and work and roof boxes.

Whether Christian or not, maybe the reason we love glamping so much is because this stripping away of distractions and barriers brings us closer to how God created us to be. Through this deeper connection with creation and with one another, we move towards the joy God intends for us.

Now I’m back in my brick house, my food in a fridge rather than a cool box. I’ve gained some comfort, but I’ve lost some connection. So, I ask this: how can we shape our lives and our frontlines in a way that fosters that deeper connection with God’s creation, and with one another?

Taking steps to do this could be one of the greatest ways we love our neighbour, and how we create contexts within which we can point them towards the one who pitched his tent among us.

Joe Warton
Church Team – Research & Development, LICC


  1. This is very true. Lockdown was hard but we found in our large culdesac that community was precious. Most of us launched into this new way of connecting with each other & being outside on the green area enthusiastically …. But after a while we all got to know each other too well…. Problems …issues… differences of opinion…. And with no commandment to love our neighbour to keep us going it was a welcome relief for many to go back to the office and normal business outside the road …. After a while we began to realise what had been lost…and are slowly working to recapture that, in a more tempered fashion…occasional get together, smaller groups meeting, less “pressure” to be at a weekly event because your absence is noticed…

    By S brown  -  26 Aug 2022
  2. This piece about Glamping is very thought provoking and I’m sure very true about how we lead our lives now – loved it. Thank you.

    By Gillian Lawton  -  27 Aug 2022

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