The Ministers Letter.  

Dear Friends,


As I write this, I’m looking back on four days at Greenbelt.  The tent and sleeping bag are aired, the Trangia put away, and clothes washed.  If you haven’t experienced it, Greenbelt is a wonderful, eclectic, mix of fun, laughter, noise and peace, with something for everyone – talks, worship, art and craft, music of all genres and styles – plenty of things to taste and see and to do.  And yet, many of my highlights aren’t from the things I went to see or hear, but from the small encounters, the random conversations with friends, with parents in the Play venue where I volunteer, or while listening to music or waiting for talks to start.  I can’t think of many places where you could sit down next to someone at a picnic table, and strike up a conversation, but you can at Greenbelt – in one talk I went to, conversation was actively encouraged, and I felt like I’d made a new friend, in that moment, and for that season.  That is, for me, what Greenbelt is all about, and why I love it.


This was the 50th Anniversary of the festival, which has grown from its early, and fairly small beginnings as a place for like-minded people to meet to share music, and ideas, artistry and activism, into a place where nearly 15,000 people gather, still in a field, but quite a high-tech field – with soundstages, PA systems, and composting toilets!


This year the theme for the main Communion service was ‘Angels’ – we were encouraged to see the angels in our midst – the angels that bring gifts from God, that comfort us when we are struggling, breath life into us, inspire us, and kick us into action – the type of angel that we can be to and for each other, and that others are to us.  We gave thanks to God for all the gifts we have received – for Greenbelt, for each other, and for our planet, by making paper flowers, which were passed forward and used to create a giant piece of art.  We then shared bread and wine with those around us, reflecting on the gifts we have been given, and how we can offer them to God and to others in acts of grace and love – to be angels in our world today.  As we did that, we sang a song which is, perhaps, unusual for church, but which spoke to me, and I hope to everyone gathered in that place and watching from home – Robbie Williams ‘Angels’.  


Who are your angels?  And who can you be an angel to?


Perhaps something to ponder and to pray about today and in the days ahead.


With love and blessings,



Something else to ponder, which really made me think (from a reflection on Luke 8: 22-25).  We were encouraged to reflect on the story with the Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other.  It was a story about small boats – just like the small boats of migrants and asylum seekers, riding the storms and facing danger in our oceans today.  Where is Jesus in those stories, in those boats – is he not right there in the middle?  And if so, where are we?