Greenbelt 2014

| No Comments

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.

mainstage for blog.jpg

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

The Human centrality of Art

| No Comments

"Go into the arts. I'm not kidding.
The arts are not a way to make a living.
They are a very human way of making life more bearable.
Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.
For heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem.
Do it as well as you possibly can.
You will get an enormous reward.
You will have created something."

--Kurt Vonnegut

Making me smile

| No Comments

You'd need to have seen the advert that Volvo Trucks filmed with Van Damme for this to make any sense, but it made me smile:




Heading out to Greenbelt Festival later today for the new site briefing and then for the Canopy Stage (nee Performance Cafe) team meeting. After such a long time in Cheltenham this is going to be a big change, but the layout looks great ... and it's a beautiful venue.

If you are there then please come and say Hi, I'll be on duty at the Canopy Stage for half of the time, or will be camping in Charlie van Bus in the Caravan/Camper section. Failing that you'll find me at the Comedy stuff, 'The Jesus Arms' or 'Tiny Tea Tent' .... or listening to folk like Brian Mclaren.

(BTW, Mobile signal is apparently better than first mooted)

Living the Difference Cafe

| No Comments

The Living the Difference Cafe is coming together well and I'm really excited about being part of the team that hosts and delivers this as part of the Grand Day Out.

ltd cafe logoblog.jpeg

Come and be part of this, it'd be great to see you there

See you in September

| No Comments

The blog (and me) are taking August as some time out. We both look forward to your company again in September. You can bump into me in the non-virtual world at Soul Survivor on 18th August, or at Greenbelt over the Bank Holiday weekend (I'm on team at the Canopy stage (formerly known as the Performance Cafe). Every blessing


Yellow Braces

| No Comments


Next years Diocesan camp is July 10th - 12th at Hill End. I bumped into a group that are already counting down the days! Six team members have signed up already.
Some momentum I think! Fab


| No Comments

We're doing a Eurocamp in France so I've temporarily abandoned my 25 year expedition through the optimistically named "German in Three Months" and am plunging into French.


It's surprising how much French I've somehow retained from school but this tends to be random bits, so I am listening to Michel Thomas in the car and joining in with the lessons. Frustratingly though Disc 2 is missing! I have no idea what was on disc 2 and therefore don't know what I don't know *laughing!* I've also picked up some great vocabulary from Eddie Izzard, should anyone wish to know where the Monkey is or the plot of 'Speed.'

My mission is to speak French without defaulting to German or Makaton sign language.

Of every thirty

| No Comments

The comprehensive 'Class of 2011 Yearbook' report by Relate3 revealed an interesting portrait of the average sixteen year old growing up in the UK today. Of every thirty
sixteen year olds:

• ten will have witnessed their parents separate
• three will have suffered from mental health problems
• eight will have experienced severe physical violence
• three will be living in a step family
• one will have experienced the death of a parent
• and seven will report having been bullied

Life moves pretty fast

| No Comments

I was chatting to a fourteen year old this week who listed "Ferris Buellers Day off" as one of her favourite films! Great to be exchanging favourite lines from the film ..... and to know that the 80's are still alive :-)


Cameron: Ferris, my father loves this car more than life itself.
Ferris: A man with priorities so far out of whack doesn't deserve such a fine automobile.
[Ferris caresses the car in admiration]


| No Comments

"Sexting is not an IT issue, it's a relationships issue"

- Sue Berkowitz, Deputy Children's Commissioner for England

ht to the wonderful folk at Romance Academy

For the churches in Oxfordshire, Viva would love your help in getting a fuller picture of engagement with vulnerable families, children and young people. You can help them with this here. This research will also be a part of a conference in Oxford on 27th September called 'Doorsteps'


More details are downloadable here: Doorsteps Conference Research.pdf


Add this blog to my Technorati Favorites!

August 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Other places where you'll find me

  • Facebook
  • Facebook
  • Gold Hill Holidays
  • Combibos Coffee
  • St Nicolas Newbury
  • Twitter  @youthblogoxford
  • St Nix Youth Dep't

Currently Reading

Recent Comments

  • Youthblog: Katy, That would be great I am on duty at read more
  • Katharine Thompson: Hi Ian, I will be at greenbelt and would love read more
  • Youthblog: Mary, Apologies that it came across in this way. The read more
  • Mary C: As a parent of a nearly teen I find comments read more
  • Ian J: Meh... I don't love yoghurt, I just like it as read more
  • Youthblog: JT, sadly no transformations other than the seat comes off read more
  • JT: Bumble bee? does it transform into a robot with big read more
  • Ian: Dave, Thanks for letting me know, I'd have missed this. read more
  • Dave Hill: You got a mention in Tim Dowling's article in the read more
  • JT: Near, far, wherever you are I know that my heart read more


Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Ian Macdonald's Facebook profile