(Church Times) Greenbelt festivalgoers enjoy unaccustomed sunshine as they unpack ‘The Common Good’

The churchiness was largely post-Evangelical; the politics firmly left-of-centre. The Mail col­umnist Peter Oborne had a respect­ful audience for his knowledgeable talk on the Middle East; less so later on, when he attempted to defend the Mail in the company of the act­ivist Jack Monroe, who was libelled by one of its columnists, Katie Hop­kins. Monroe had been greeted with cheers when, earlier in the day, she had been asked how to end poverty. “Stop voting Tory, for Chrissakes.”

She was talked about in the food queues (the best measure of success at the festival); and so was Charles Handy, the 90-year-old economist; the Revd John Bell, who spoke about his sexuality for the first time; the rich Muslim pro­gramme of music and worship in its dedicated tent; the Revd Kate Bottley’s illus­trated talk on body image, again in a ded­icated tent, this time for women; per­formances by the singer Kate Rusby and the singer-songwriter Newton Faulkner — and also a quartet from St Martin-in-the-Fields.

Others mentioned were Baroness Warsi, Harry Baker and Chris Read, Cole Moreton, Lee Bains III, Natalie Bennett, and Sarah Corbett.

The chief topic of conversation, though, was the main Sunday eu­­char­­ist, where the festival’s inclus­ivity was brought into the heart of the service. As well as signers from the charity Livabil­ity, and prayers from the L’Arche commun­ity, there was a reading via live audio link by Tanya Marlow, an ME sufferer, lying in her bed in Plymouth.

Read it all.

Print Friendly

Posted in England / UK, Religion & Culture