This year the United Reformed Church was a sponsor of Greenbelt. We will be next year as well. That meant that URC had a visible presence at the festival - and since it was held in Kettering, which is in our Synod, the Synod was there too!
The URC's 'stall' was immediately on the left as you entered the festival site from the car park and camping areas, and the 'national' side of the tent linked in with the Greenbelt theme "Silent Stars" by offering a 'treasure hunt' to discover the locations of 20 (I think) stars around the site.
Inside the stall people were invited to join in the URC Scrap the Church? debate by writing on a postcard what they would like to scrap about the church. I look forward to hearing what people said! I had an interesting talk outside the stall with a guy who said he had given up on the church - he did not go anymore apart from going to Greenbelt. Greenbelt was church for him!
A short distance away from the stall was a Scrap Church - made out of scrap metal with a sign saying "CAUTION - Church may have sharp edges". I wondered which church that was referring to!
The sponsors were also promoted in turn in the introductions to the individual events. When the URC was mentioned when I was there, any URC folk were asked to put their hands up - there were ten or more!
Our Synod side of the stall was manned mainly by Jane Henderson our CYDO often with her husband Syd, helped by some of the young people of synod. That side was shared with Luther King House - our training college in Manchester. Our Synod also provided at least two ministers as chaplains to the volunteers.
What is Greenbelt? Best to look at their website for that.
(they have some better photos as well)
It is a festival with lots of Christian Music.
It is a conference with many big names.
It is a children's activity centre.
It is an opportunity to meet up with Christians from around the UK.
It is, amazingly, an opportunity to catch up with old friends you did not know would be there.
It is a big camp site (although you can stay in a comfy room off site like we did!)
Look through the photos to see some of what we saw.