So we are back from this years Greenbelt.
I wrote several articles after Greenbelt 06 so for background see 42: Greenbelt 06, 42: Me at Greenbelt, 42: Worlds apart, 42: Greenbelt 06 books & 42: Church Times – Greenbelt audience hears radical call.
This year was even better for us (family and circuit) than last year. Over 20 people from the Nene Valley Circuit (plus some other friends) and all seem to have had a good time.
We did cheat and take our caravan, yes it was fantastic. A flat comfortable bed and a shower in the morning make a huge difference to my stamina and mood.
Returning for the second time after a long break was good, it just seemed easier this year. Knowing how things work, what is possible and where to go removed stress and increased enjoyment. Of course beautiful weather also helped with the experience although we were also better prepared for bad weather than we were last year.
Children’s Festival: Again brilliant, many thanks to all those who gave their time to this. Our 9 year old went to all 3 sessions and enjoyed them all. Hint: a bike is a good idea, you can save a lot of time getting to the queue for morning session tickets by riding from your campsite. No complaints or concerns about this, just delight.
The Mix (11 to 14′s): like last year our middle son disappeared into the mix big top on Friday and re-appeared on Monday at 11pm. In between we saw him for evening meals and breakfast. He had a fantastic time. So again thanks to the dedicate team for that.
Worship: I made this a higher priority this year and so made it to several events in the New Forms Cafe, plus to an Iona service and of course to main stage for Sunday morning communion. All succeeded in taking me into the presence of God, all were challenging and no I did not agree with everything, but there was space for that.
Talks: Some excellent talks this year including ones by John Bell, Doug Gay, Maggi Dawn, Angela Sarkis, Douglas Armstrong and Lucy Winkett. Got into all the ones I aimed for.
Music: I confess I don’t really go for the music. Among the family the following were popular: Iona Big Sing, Kato, Jon Bilborough, Delirious but particularly Soweto Kinch, Duke Special and Fishy Music
G-Source: Some very interesting and useful resources especially from the Methodist Church stand shared with 12 Baskets.
Bookshop: Did not seem to have quite so many titles as last year but I still bought quite a few.
Site Vibe: We enjoyed all the work put in to make the site attractive, all using recycled materials. The bottle trees, and welly bridge were favourites as were the angel wings and fence weaving the kids festival queue.
Misc: It was amusing to see that use of the site taxis was dominated by the under 18′s, poor things they get so tired having to walk to and fro. Site food was good again. Toilets at campsite were better, few hiccups with the water supply.
Gripes: Only one. Please do not position toilets and water tap right next to the narrowest bottle neck in the route towards the centre course from the festival site.
We will be back next year.