Sunday, 30 August 2009

GREENBELT 1 'Standing in the Long Now'

Greenbelt Festival 2009Greenbelt Festival 2009Greenbelt Festival 2009Blue Nun wine bar in preparationGreenbelt 2009 ED 9381

'Standing in the Long Now' is the theme for this year. Maybe a description of the queues into some of the side shows Rob Bell from Mars Hill, The Big Top, Bp Gene Robinson, Main Stage. Too much choice.

Greenbelt is an open edgy space, a music and arts festival which is multi-faceted, kaleidoscopic, which is why I like it so much. Music, talks, discussions, comedy, drama, film, market place of stalls, food and drink, festival goers armed with camping chairs, families pushing baby-buggies, white-haired pensioners, green ecowarriors,, boppers, Goths…anything goes. A couple of years back a youth group from Hull joined us in the CMS camp and 2 rather heavy young lads spent the weekend dressed as pink fairies ! As I said anything goes……

As always CMS, a Greenbelt Partner, has a Tent presence, this year a bit smaller because of the credit crunch, but a very visible presence nonetheless. . They say small is beautiful but at a festival as varied as Greenbelt visibility and brand is everything. But we did put on 'Love and Joy Gospel Choir' who sang for 1000 in the Big Top. And 'World to Rights' are performing on Sunday

DfiD are hosting a Race against Global Poverty, Christian Aid tent has a unique, brilliant way of displaying statistics using rice – Rice Count - an enormous mountain representing people killed in the Congo and my favourite a sheet with a single grain labelled Condolesa Rice ! You can follow them on Twitter.

So far this year I’ve enjoyed a talk by Pete Rollins of IKON (author of ‘the orthodox heretic and other impossible tales’ Church Times and third way are offeirng a free copy with a year's subscription) speaking on ‘the birth of Christianity and the death of meaning’ - exploring Bonheoffer's 'religionless Christianity'

'church is a place where we hand in our own identity - a suspended space - where we participate in the kenosis of God - entering the Divine dereliction, identifying with Christ on the cross'

The Nut cafĂ© and Performance Tent – sitting eating Chena Banana Masala and listening to live performance - Rhian Grundy. Never heard before which is one of the great things – new ideas people and connections.

Rhian Grundy

The Proost Lounge in the Hub hosted 3 artist. (You can pick up freebies on their website Proost) Harronell singing Archangel, Dubb with live beat box singing Rhythm and Poetry (RAP) – ‘I discovered Lego’ and Dubh (Ikon’s Jonny McEwen with Mac music ‘fractured broken and beautiful’

As an arts festival there is also Artwork – I enjoyed Dave Nevard – artist, activist and charity worker - You can see his work on Flickr

Dave Nevard

I finished off Sat night at ‘Transcendence: an ancient future mass’ led by York Minister with choir, robes, incense and Visions multimedia was beautifully inspirational. We cleaned our hands with gel -‘ who can ascend the hill of the Lord? He who has gelled hands and a pure heart!'

So as I was feeling particularly holy it was off for Pint of Redemption in the Jesus Arms’ ( They do a great beer and hymns) What you might call ‘thirsting after righteousness’

Ah Greenbelt ……

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