So this year I set off for Greenbelt really excited and confident I had all the camping equipment I need to for comfort and sleep! Also I was quite chuffed to have been able to sort through what I wanted to see using the iphone app Greenbelt had released a few days before.
I arrived about 10.15am and duly queued with all the other campers. At this point my mind wandered to the realisation I had forgotten my pillow! Anyhoo, a quick trip into Cheltenham later sorted that problem. I found a lovely spot behind the caravaners which was close but not too close to the toilets and taxi service.
This year, after a disasterous attempt last time, I decided not to travel light but instead go a little over board with my 4 person double skinned tent, table and chair! Plus blow up bed and all season sleeping bag!
Amazingly, even with a second sleeping as a blanket, I was still very cold. My blow up bed deflated a bit too. So at 1 am, I had to reinflate bed, put a car rug under my sleeping bag and make a hot water bottle. So sleep deprived I headed into Saturday.
But wait, lets talk about Friday for Friday evening brought Blesséd! the most awesome HC service ever. In fact, I could just do this one service and not do anything else at Greenbelt.
To sum up Blesséd, is an injustice, for Fr Simon and Metonia bring together liturgy and rock music into synergetic form of holiness. To quote from their website ‘Blesséd offers worship which both confronts and comforts, challenges and seeks to connect us with an ancient sacramental heritage using multimedia and ritual, video and action, incense, scripture and music.’ The benediction was good and was curious to see the use of a monstrance. Rev Edward Green did a quick write up straight after.
This following is a video used at teh service.
Later at 8pm, I went to ‘Not The Abbey Habit’ which was a panel discussing New Monasticism with Cara Heafey (mayBe, Oxford), author Clare Catford, poet and artist Ian Adams, Ian Mobsby (Moot, London), Mark Berry (safespace Telford), Shane Claiborne and Tessa Holland (Contemplative Fire, Chichester). I think the two main quotes that resonated with me were the ‘Desert is anywhere wihout God’ and New monastisicism invites people to not just ‘Think about God but to live it’. My concluding response was monasticism involves rites of commitement yet the C of E has such rites in its baptism, confirmation etc – we dont really need new ways but rather need to take what we got seriously instead of for granted.
9:30 Making sense of Video games with Andy Robertson. As a gamer I was interested in the speaker’s idea of using video games in worship. I’m not 100% convinced but its an area I need to ponder.
12:30 For now we see in a mirror, dimly…… with Ray Gaston. Or how other faiths can illuminate our own journys. Yet still didn’t answer the question that is the Big elepahnt in the room – at what point do we stop sharing and discuss there is One God? The speaker seemed to be more into the personal journey rather than supporting others. Also, really dont like how the word Interfaith seems to be code for the Islamic faith as no other faiths seems to enter the discussion, even rarely paganism.
It was at this point the thunder storms happened with lots of rain!
14:00Beer & Benediction – Procession with Blesséd. I didn’t quite get into the ajorning marquee to the Beer tent and so was distracted by the music and the heat. So after HC I nipped hoping to catch the end of;-
14:00 The New Christianity with Peter Owen-Jones. But although I arrived 20 mins from the end, he’d already finished!
Wondered into G-Source and met up with Ordinands from Cuddesdon whihc was v helpful talking to them. Surprised no other theological colleges were represented.
15.30 Sat at the Jerusalem stand and met someone from my BAP! Kinda crashed out for a bit and then watch several procession converge. Amazing time of colour, dance and music!
19:00 Went to Nuns on the Run film to sit in the dry and warm for a while. Feet and trousers soaked and muddy. Met two lovely people and discussion callings!
There was a wonderful quadruple rainbow by the evening! Feet wet so went to tent for wellies and decided home would be best decision as only 40 mins away!
Arrived on site about 10:30am and packed up tent which took over an hour. I had to make two trips to the car as cars were not allowed near the tents. Gorgeous hot day! Met up with Rev Pam Smith for tea.
Missed eveything I wanted to get to so found myself catching the end of a talk in Centuar. Best thing I ever did as:-
17:00 How God became King by Bishop Tom Wright . Huge crowd for this guy! And I managed to get a seat upstairs after some weaving through the crowds. Warm, comfy and great speaker! Funny tho, after my little theology education, everything Wright said, I knew already!
Had food and went home. Total food and drink bill £60!
Stayed home and recovered! Still recovering tady from various bruises, cuts and strained muscles. Writing this post has shown me I did do a lot and so on reflection, it wasn’t the waste of time I thought it was. And meeting friends is always lovely! In fact this was the first greenbelt I have gone knowing a huge crowd of folk thanks to twitter!