In the fading light at the end of a long day, and from a good way away, you can start to see something special emerging for this year’s festival … on the far side of the lake. Just beyond the venues a herd of deer is nestling in for the night. You really have to see it to believe it.
It’s where we’re building and programming our new worship and spirituality space for Greenbelt 2017. Today, the tents have started to go up over there – the Shelter, Canvas and brand new Chapel-Prayer space.
Over the next few days, we’ll be putting a whole bunch of vibing in which will further enhance the space, the setting and the venues. We can’t say too much about it, but we’re really excited by what we have planned!
On top of all this, we’ve got a fantastic site artist working with us called Nicola Haines who we have commissioned to install a walkway of lit birds, in the form of a murmuration, to lead feativalgoers towards the pontoon bridge that will lead them across to the other side of the lake. We really do want the whole experience – from the journey to get there, to the feel of the venues, their setting and the programme that will unfold in them – to be deep, immersive and memorable. (You can see some examples of her landscape work here.)
The Grove will also be over on the far side of the lake, tucked into a cluster of ancient trees. We’ve blogged about what to expect in this treasured circle gathering space, but we’ve now also produced a poster view that you can browse, download and share using this link. The Grove is deliberately more on the edge of things this year, more on the margins. It won’t have a spread in the printed Guide. It will be about the discovery, about going for the space and experience in and of themselves. That, and keeping your eye on the chalkboard with the daily listings on! We’ll also have Grove programme timings available in the Info Booth. And, of course, you have them here too.
The Chapel-Prayer space isn’t a programmed venue. It’s left deliberately open and free for feativalgoers to use for prayer, thought and reflection. A still space on the far side of the lake to reconnect and recalibrate.
Besides the Nine Beats Global Collective in residence all across the weekend, leading morning and evening sessions over in the Shelter, the venues in this new zone will feature a rich and diverse range of worship, reflection, thoughtfulness and prayer and exploration all across the weekend. We’re making the spread of the Guide available here for you to download so you can see for yourself.
And not forgetting our showpiece main festival communion service – Bring A Body – on the Sunday morning when we gather in the Glade Arena to once again re-member the God who makes all this possible in the bread and wine that signify for us the greatest love the world will ever know – the body and blood of Jesus Christ.
Join us. And make time to take time to find time – on the far side of the lake this Greenbelt.