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As hundreds of visitors prepare to flock to the Lake District for this weekend’s Kendal Mountain Festival – one church in the picturesque northern town is getting ready to make scores of photographers feel very welcome, writes Val Fraser.

On Sunday 21 November, the Gateway Church will host Faith Through a Lens, a Christian photography event.

“We’re going to be showing photographs from Christian photographers and talking about those pictures and how they relate to God’s word,” commented Gateway Church adviser, the Rev. Jonny Gios (pictured, above).

The clergyman is an award-winning photographer who recently secured first place in the prestigious 2021 One Lake District Photography Competition. His dramatic shot of Derwentwater was taken on an autumnal day from Isthmus Bay and Crow Park looking towards Cat Bells. It captured the greens and golds of a bank of trees mirrored on the lake.

“It was a cold crisp morning, and the sun was out in full force in order to get this shot,” he added. “I’m astounded that my photography is now winning awards and gaining notice around the UK.”

Jonny’s winning image, which appeared on the front cover of Cumbria Life magazine, was sold for an undisclosed amount.

ALL WELCOME: The festival’s doors are open to amateur and professional snappers.

Photographers speaking at the event range from hobbyists to professionals. All are Christians and will be talking about their photographs from a faith perspective. In particular, they will unpack how they feel that God has spoken to them through a photo they have captured, or how a passage of scripture might relate to that photo.

Professional wildlife photographers Tony and Carol Dilger are just two of the speakers at the event. Based in Dumfries and Galloway, the couple is just as likely to be found on a remote Scottish island as they are out in the African bush.

“At the end of the day, we just love photography, and we love helping other people love theirs,” said the Dilgers. “We like to think our images speak for themselves and for sure, they tell our story best.”

Expect some stunning shots and thoughtful insights from the likes of Rev. Vernon Ross, Archdeacon of South Cumbria, and Lathan Ball, a mountaineer and photographer. And the Rev. Gios will be also sharing his own powerful images and his thoughts on how these relate to faith.

He said: “My photography is my opportunity to discover new places off the beaten track. Getting out into the Lake District helps my mental health and stress levels.”

  • The free event starts at 10.30 am in Kendal Town Hall’s Lowther Room on Sunday 21 November.

Main Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jonny Gios

Val Fraser

Val Fraser is a trained journalist with over 12 years’ experience working on staff in various demanding media environments. She has authored/edited thousands of articles including news, travel and features. Val has authored/contributed to nine non-fiction books. A regular columnist, she stepped up to the role of Digital Editor in September 2022 and is responsible for the Sorted Magazine website.
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