This year marked 50 glorious years of artistry, activism and belief for Greenbelt. I was new to a party that had been rolling on for 50 years. It was my first year as a Greenbelter. Having heard friends rave about it I was keen to see what all the fuss was about.

It was just a festival, right?

But during this ‘just a festival’, I had moments of sheer joy, soaking in the atmosphere as artists shared their many gifts, all expressing both passionate discontent at the state of the world and a fervent hope that it might be better. 

We drank beer as we sang hymns and raised the metaphorical roof, our hearts and glasses to the glory of the God who was so tangibly with us.

During festival communion thousands of us broke bread and shared wine as community, something I found more moving and humbling than any other I have experienced.

For me, the whole weekend was a continual act of worship, giving thanks to the glory of God manifested in the talents of the artists, the organisers and each one of us there. 

I came away with hope in my heart, and a renewed vision for the life of our beautiful planet. I had felt the affirmation that God does welcome us all, regardless of our differences, finding beauty in diversity.

Things just seem more possible after sitting in a field for three days as part of an active welcoming community, aching to speak out with prophetic voice.

It was all there, as God dwelt among us, just waiting to be unleashed to the world.

Written by Anita Peat of Kendal Parish Church.

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