Greenbelt 2014

I’m so grateful I was at Greenbelt Christian Arts festival, it was (as ever) a place where my soul is blessed, stretched and challenged.
mainstage for blog.jpg
The new site at Boughton House is beautiful. It feels like a bit of a homecoming for those of us who remember the Castle Ashby site; but at the very least it showed what a concrete commercial utilitarian setting it was at Cheltenham (not that some of that didn’t have its usefulness). The new site was creatively laid out using the landscaped grounds of the house imaginatively and usefully. Being able to watch main (Glade) stage from the Jesus Arms was a nice touch I thought. I also liked the citing in the trees of ‘my’ venue, The Canopy Stage.
Over the weekend I was blessed by great conversation with friends, activists and strangers. I heard deeply wonderful music, laughed at great comedy, was inspired by talks, blessed by the communion gathering, and somehow just fed by being part of the vulnerable-hopeful-gathered-questioning community
Greenbelt was wonderful! Really wonderful
Yes there were teething troubles with a new site, some significant ones, but I have no doubt that the extraordinary team are re-evaluating access to the site (especially for those with mobility challenges), access from/to the car parks, numbers of toilets … and the challenges faced by day visitors. On the plus side though there was so much more camping space than there was at Cheltenham which made finding a spot much easier and less cramped. The village too was able to be more spread out and so felt less crowded, and more relaxed.
A useful reflection here from the Church Times

The Human centrality of Art

“Go into the arts. I’m not kidding.
The arts are not a way to make a living.
They are a very human way of making life more bearable.
Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.
For heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.
Do it as well as you possibly can.
You will get an enormous reward.
You will have created something.”
–Kurt Vonnegut


Heading out to Greenbelt Festival later today for the new site briefing and then for the Canopy Stage (nee Performance Cafe) team meeting. After such a long time in Cheltenham this is going to be a big change, but the layout looks great … and it’s a beautiful venue.
If you are there then please come and say Hi, I’ll be on duty at the Canopy Stage for half of the time, or will be camping in Charlie van Bus in the Caravan/Camper section. Failing that you’ll find me at the Comedy stuff, ‘The Jesus Arms’ or ‘Tiny Tea Tent’ …. or listening to folk like Brian Mclaren.
(BTW, Mobile signal is apparently better than first mooted)