The Grove

The Grove

The Grove is Greenbelt’s outdoor worship space.

It’s a place for all ages to gather across the weekend for a variety of sessions – all designed to help us connect with God in nature and enter into all things Forest Church.

As well as the planned events, the space is designed simply to just ‘be’ in, with the Chapel prayer venue close by, too. Set on the other side of the lake in a natural grove of ancient trees there is something for everyone in The Grove at Greenbelt.

Come and join us over the lake-bridge beside the mount to connect with God in nature and enter into all things Forest Church. Join us for our planned events, many all age. Or come and ‘be’ in the space. All sessions 45-50 minutes. The daily Peacemeal will be between 60 and 75 minutes.

Friday 23rd

18.00 – Opening ceremony (spirituality/all age)
With West Midlands Forrest Church and friends

All age worship to open our sacred space in the Boughton landscape. Come and bless the Grove with your presence

19.00 – ‘Not so Hasty’ Reflections on the wisdom of trees, imagined and real (workshop/ideas/spirituality)
With Genny Tunbridge & Cath Palgrave (West Midlands Forrest Church)

Contemplation and exploration of the wisdom we may learn from trees to inspire ‘tree living’ for humans also. Bring your own tree stories or poems to share.

20.00 – Night Prayer ‘the wisdom of the past’ (spirituality)
With Paul Cudby

Responding to Moses encounter with YHWH at the Burning Bush – and Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem about every common bush being afire with God as a call to engage with the natural world as a site of God’s revelation (torch may help afterwards)

Saturday 24th

9.00 – Morning Prayer (Spirituality)
With Contemplative Fire

Awakening: Contemplative Fire lead us in body centred reflective morning prayer

10.00 – Wild Play for Families (All Age/Crafts/Spirituality)
With Rachel Summers

Join experienced forest school facilitator Rachel Summers to explore and create as part of God’s wonderful creation, enjoying each other in his company. This is where play meets worship. Everyone welcome, but this will be particularly suitable for young children.

11.30 – Picture This: phone scavenger hunt for teens
With Rachel Summers

Pick up a list of bible verses and take your phone for a trip around the site to snap photos which speak to you of these. Bring a charger cable and plug in and charge up while you share them with the rest of the group. (Limited charging available!)

12.30 – Peacemeal (All Age/Sprirtuality)
With South Birmingham Peacemeal

Peacemeal sets the table for community, inclusion, justice and joy. Inspired by the ‘table-example’ of Jesus, this meal is a space where all are welcomed, honoured and respected. Come and bring food to share with one another

14.00 – Witty, Wild Animals – Forrest School style activity
With Cath Palgrave
For children of all ages (Crafts/All Age)

Do you know why birds have beaks and cats have claws? Learn about different animal body parts, why they are different and what they are for, then create the most bizarre and strange creatures that you can from natural materials found round the site

15.00
The Gorsedd of the Bards of the Grove of Greenbelt (Music/Arts)
With Steve Hollinghurst and you!

Come bring your poetry, story, music and song and take part in our Bardic DIY session where you are the performers and audience. Who will be crowned this year’s Bard?

16.30
Un-Earthing the Feminine Divine (Ideas/ Spirituality)
With Steve & Anne Hollinghurst

Where do classic images of the divine feminine come from? Are they helpful in discovering the God in whose image we are made male and female? An exploration of ideas/experience of the divine feminine in ancient and contemporary contexts

18.00
Wild Wonder (Spirituality)
With Contemplative Fire

Experiencing our connection to the natural world through body centred worship

20.00
Night Prayer – the wisdom of the present (spirituality)
With Paul Cudby

Living in the age of Christ’s revelation of God’s nature in human form and what we can learn from the importance Jesus put in retreating to lonely places to pray – to include a significant period of silence for listening (a torch may help afterwards)

Sunday 25th

12.00
Walking with the Wise Ones (spirituality)
With New Forrest Forrest Church

Searching out the oldest trees, we reflect on the wisdom laid down in the rings of years through the lives of people who have inspired us. Mike and Julie Oates, lead a reflective walk amongst the trees which embrace our festival site.

12.30
Peacemeal (All Age/Sprirtuality)
With South Birmingham Peacemeal

Peacemeal sets the table for community, inclusion, justice and joy. Inspired by the ‘table-example’ of Jesus, this meal is a space where all are welcomed, honoured and respected. Come and bring food to share with one another

14.00
Gathering Wisdom memory game – Forrest School style activity for children of all ages (All Age)
With Cath Palgrave

Learning about natural objects. One is taken away – can you remember which one is missing and it’s wisdom by remembering one of its properties. Can you gather wisdom- so you remember what thing is and what it is for?

16.00
Women’s Wisdom in the Hebrew Bible (ideas/Spirituality)
With Jessica Spencer

“Her mouth is full of wisdom, her tongue with kindly teaching.” Who are the wise women of the Hebrew Bible? What can Jewish and feminist interpretations teach us about women’s wisdom? Explore the Hebrew scriptures through a feminist lens.

18.00
Communion with the wise (Spirituality/All Age)
With West Midlands Forrest Church

Divine wisdom dwells in all creation and in the union of human and divine. These themes unite in bread and wine and the participation of the human and non-human persons we share life with. A Forest Church communion for all ages

20.00
Night Prayer – the wisdom of the future and of Eternity
With Paul Cudby

In the apocalyptic texts of roaring seas and falling stars we face our responsibilities for a future withthe catastrophe of climate change. How can we respond when God’s world turns on us and sowing the wind means reaping the whirlwind? (A torch may help afterwards)

Monday 26th

9.00
Morning Prayer (spirituality)
With Susan Sayers

Join Susan Sayers as she explores what it means to be part of the body of Christ in a much broader sense than you might have imagined.

10.00
Wild Play for Adults (spirituality)
With Rachel Summers

When do adults ever get to play? Not often enough. Join Rachel Summers as she unpacks the idea that play can be worship, and take part in some deep play of your own, surrounded and nurtured by God through his creation

12.00
To tan or not to tan – a Mummers play (Starting at the Grove then moving round site) (Arts/ Spirituality)
With West Midlands Forrest Church

The West Midlands Forest Church have taken the traditional English folk play and added a contemporary twist. Beelzebub holds the strings to an environmental disaster, but can the new generation, represented by Prince George, save Mother Earth?

12.30
Peacemeal (All Age/Sprirtuality)
With South Birmingham Peacemeal

Peacemeal sets the table for community, inclusion, justice and joy. Inspired by the ‘table-example’ of Jesus, this meal is a space where all are welcomed, honoured and respected. Come and bring food to share with one another

14.00
Detailed Discovery – Forrest School style activity for children of all ages (Arts/ All Age)
With Cath Palgrave

Can you draw a really close up picture of something natural from around the Grove? Will it be a a blade of grass or an insect’s wing? Can others guess what you’ve drawn? Can you see patterns and nature’s wisdom in your drawings?

16.00
Falling back in to creation: how we fell out of our ecological niche and the way back in (ideas)
With Miles Irving

The Eden myth tells of an exile from earthly paradise following humnaity’s choice of abstract over relational knowledge. Industrialisation continues that fall. The way back in is through the living connections with our bodies, other people, the land and other species. Crucial to this are the edible wild plants which grow in the places we live.

18.00
Closing Ceremony (All Age/Spirituality)
With West Midlands Forrest Church & Friends

As this year’s human creatures prepare to leave the Grove to its usual inhabitants, we give thanks for the Wit and Wisdom we have received and reflect on how we may continue to be a blessing to and with all creation.