Ready to ‘Scrap the Church?’ at Greenbelt

greenbelt image 1Final preparations are now underway for the United Reformed Church’s debut as an associate partner at the Greenbelt Christian arts festival where the programme will feature URC-led events on the theme of ‘Scrap the Church?’

Those events are to include the transformation of a large-scale, scrap metal church installation over the course of the bank holiday weekend. The festival, running from Friday (26 August) to Monday at Boughton House in Northamptonshire, will also be the setting for a panel discussion considering whether the Church is the kind of thing that Jesus had in mind when he talked about the Kingdom of God and, if not, considering alternatives to a ‘business as usual’ approach to church life.

Greenbelters from the URC should be on the lookout for three colourful and creative pop-up liturgy events which celebrate biblical accounts surrounding the resurrection, while members of URC Youth will be hosting a Cake and Debate session on the ‘Scrap the Church?’ question.

Greenbelt’s 2016 theme is ‘Silent Stars’. As a result, the URC will offer festival-goers the chance to consider their experiences of the Church, both good and bad, and respond to that. There will also be opportunity to take part in a ‘treasure’ hunt for #URStars around the site.

The URC’s plans for Greenbelt have already attracted plaudits from Paul Northup, the event’s Creative Director, ‘I have been struck as we pull the Festival Guide together, just what a creative and wide range of contributions the URC will be making to the festival in their first year of associate partnership. From a striking spectacle installation to a high profile panel, and from pop-up liturgies to star treasure-hunts, the URC’s contribution is thoughtful and imaginative and I’m sure will strike a chord with Greenbelters this summer and ignite the ‘Scrap the Church?’ conversation across the festival.’

The event marks the first time that the URC has been involved as a denomination with the event – though many individual members have contributed to the life of Greenbelt over the years. The partnership is a natural fit, building on the URC’s rich Nonconformist history of exploration of radical Christian faith and working for justice, and the dynamic and creative energy of the Greenbelt festival.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit

If you can’t get to the festival this year, take heart – the URC comms team will be posting regular updates on Facebook ( and Twitter ( Look out for hashtags #urstars and #scrapthechurch? with follow-up articles and image gallery online. The URC will also be an associate partner for Greenbelt 2017.


Image credit: Copyright All rights reserved by Greenbelt Festival Official Pictures