United Reformed Church prepares for Greenbelt Festival 2017
Spring is on its way and it’s a perfect time of year to plan ahead for those special dates, such as August Bank Holiday weekend. Why is it special? Because the Greenbelt Festival will take place at Boughton House, Northamptonshire, from 25 to 28 August 2017 – and the United Reformed Church will be there again as an associate partner.
The festival of arts, faith and justice has been running since 1974 and this year’s focus is on The Common Good. The early booking ticket deadline is the end of April; if you buy your tickets before midnight on 30 April, you will save £35 on the onsite adult weekend price. Visit here to find out more.
The United Reformed Church enjoyed a very successful debut at last year’s event with the attention-grabbing theme of Scrap the Church? This time round, the URC will have ‘More than Welcome’ as its theme.
‘More than Welcome’ will explore issues around who is, or isn’t welcome in our churches and society – and what that means individually and corporately, locally, nationally and internationally. It also offers the opportunity to listen to those who are missing from ‘the banquet’ and from our conversations, communities and churches. Plans are in hand for a range of exciting activities, including:
- A ‘More than Welcome’ banqueting table art installation (made by scrap church artist Nic Walters)
- A knitted food treasure hunt and yarn bombing
- Street theatre
- The URC stand (now known as the ‘URC lounge’) which will host various events during the festival period
- Hosting a series of ‘intentional conversations’ at picnic tables near the URC lounge
Calling all knitters
Can you knit or crochet? Or do you know someone who does? Perhaps you have a Knit and Natter group at your church, or maybe you’d like to start one….
As part of this year’s theme of ‘More than Welcome’, an army of knitting and crochet fans are needed to help prepare a knitted food treasure ‘trail’. This will take festival-goers to hampers dotted around the site where they will answer questions on food/feast stories from the Bible and collect various knitted food items. They will then be asked to add the fruit to an empty banqueting area so that, over the course of the weekend, the area goes from being empty to abundant.
There is a lot to knit so the more people, groups and churches involved, the better! If you do start this project, please send a photo of the group/individual doing the knitting for a display in the URC lounge.
Knitting/crocheting patterns are available but do feel free to use any you may have already. The knitted items should not be too big (so they fit in the palm of your hand). This food production needs to start as soon as possible if there is going to be enough ‘food’ in time for the August Bank Holiday.
For further details about where to send completed items, email Linda Mead and she will let you know where to take or send them. Linda would also be grateful to know of any wool that may be going spare as a large amount will also be needed for the festival.
On the last day of Greenbelt, volunteers will head out to distribute the ‘food’. An attached postcard will explain that it is a gift from the URC and it will also include a ‘food for thought’ idea or challenge.