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.
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