Quakers at Greenbelt 2017

peace doves at greenbelt 2017

Since it returned to Northamptonshire, local Quakers have organised worship at the Greenbelt festival. This year we had about 120 worshippers, many of whom took away Advices and Queries. One said he had started attending his local meeting because of worship at Greenbelt.

Worship is important at the festival. On the Sunday morning thousands of us celebrated communion together, each of us together consecrating the bread and wine, and the gathering. We are one body, serving one God. The homily was preached through a speech device the user controls by eye movements, as she sat in her pink motorised wheelchair. She saw God in her image in Daniel, in a throne with wheels of fire. Worship is fun, and profound. I shared deeply with a woman I shared communion with, and heard her. She told me how wise I am.

The Greenbelt festival is a place for radical activism, where the church hears of the gifts of Queer folk and we are accepted as part of God's kingdom. The revd. Liz Edsall spoke of how her witness as a Christian is informed by her spiritual journey as a lesbian, finding and accepting herself, finding community and standing up for justice.

It is not just justice in the Church, but in the wider world. Christian Aid took signatures for a campaign for major banks to disinvest from fossil fuel companies. Quakers did, and other churches, and we take the campaign into wider society.

Greenbelt is a place for ordinary Christians to meet radical activists, so that they can hear what is possible and how to achieve it, and we can remain grounded in the wider community. It is also a place for music drama and dance. It is a lovely crowd. We don't litter. We talk to strangers. We are moved, together. We see the Church as it could always be. I am proud to be a part of it and hope to remain a part of it for years to come.

Abigail Maxwell - Kettering Meeting