Each year at Greenbelt we remember that we are better together; we remember that if you want to walk a long way, then it’s good to make the journey with others; that we are in this for the long haul. And, now heading for our 45th edition, you can hardly think of Greenbelt as a “flash in the pan”!
So, here’s a quick run-down of the wonderful organisations and people we’re proud to be working with this year for Greenbelt 2018 :: Acts of the Imagination.
Our main partner for 25 years now (yes, that’s a quarter of a century), Christian Aid leads and shape our theology, thought and action around global development, advocacy and campaigning. We were proud to work with them on the Big Shift campaign last year (lobbying the four High Street banks to disinvest from fossil fuels) and we look forward to collaborating with them again this year in our bid to make sure that Greenbelt stays on the right side of history – for the sake of the millions of people on this good earth whose lives are precarious because of systems and selfishness way beyond their control. Christian Aid, we salute you and your vision to ending poverty worldwide.
The Trussell Trust runs a network of over 400 food banks, giving emergency food and support to people in crisis across the UK, where thirteen million people live below the poverty line. In the last year they gave 1,182,954 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis. They also engage decision-makers with the realities of poverty and are particularly interested in ensuring the UK has a robust welfare safety net and that work that pays enough to keep people out of poverty.
Friends of The Earth
Friends of the Earth stands with anyone who cares about the world we live in, working with local groups, experts, business leaders and politicians and pushing for change on causes that matter to people: protecting home and local environment; promoting safe and healthy food and water everywhere; supporting alternative energy solutions. Working with their supporters and other agencies they are determined to change the world for good, creating a cleaner, healthier, fairer world for everyone, for today and generations to come.
Oasis is a movement of volunteers, activists and professionals who work in 36 communities across the UK. Through their integrated ‘Community hub’ model, Oasis seeks to create a new sense of neighbourhood in communities that had previously been forgotten by society so that everyone – regardless of their background and starting point – can join together to overcome life’s hurdles and reach their God-given potential.
Space to Breathe
Committed to providing opportunities for young adults to have a spiritual context within which to reflect on the everyday issues of life, Space to Breathe makes the resources and treasures of everyday non-religious spirituality available to everyone – whatever their background or experience. S2B believes that these spiritual resources can create greater well-being at work, on the web and in local communities.
Quakers in Britain
Returning to Greenbelt after a short break, Quakers believe there is something of God in everyone. They don’t offer neat creeds or doctrine. Instead, they try to help each other work out how they should live. Quakers don’t use traditional religious structures or paid ministers. Their reflection leads them to non-violent action. Dissent has never looked this necessary and attractive.
With an enviable reputation for its values-led, inter-disciplinary academic approach and as one of the institutions regularly voted close to the top of the lists of the best places to study in the UK, Winchester University will be back at the festival, bringing us the academic rigour we need in order to think, believe and act better. We are proud to partner with their Department of Theology, Religion and Philosophy.
United Reformed Church (URC)
We’re delighted that the URC will be back at the festival again, with all their creativity and diversity. An intercultural church, in the URC people with varied ethnic roots, enriching each other’s Christian living. And URC members hold a range of opinions about theology and church life, but work together to witness to the God they believe in and bring the love that springs from this.
USPG listens to the worldwide church and responds with action, advocacy, prayer and presence. They’ve been doing this for over 300 years! USPG challenges injustice and they take risks – practically and theologically. They are all-embracing and inclusive, working in widely varying cultures across the world for the benefit of the whole community, regardless of ethnicity, culture, gender, sexuality, age or beliefs.
Focussing for the last few years on what makes a livable community, one where everyone can flourish, this year Livability return to the festival to continue to share with us their vision of connecting people with their communities by tackling social isolation and the barriers that can cause this in the lives of disabled and vulnerable people.
Student Christian Movement (SCM)
Supporting Christian students and student churches up and down the country, and working at all times for justice and inclusion on campuses and in churches, SCM keeps us connected to that key young adult constituency for whom we’re convinced Greenbelt is a great place to find a home at a seminal point in their lives.
As the oldest and largest youth charity in the world, YMCA in England and Wales intensively support 228,000 young people every year, ensuring each young person they meet has an opportunity to belong, contribute and thrive. YMCA brings groups – leaders and residents – from all over the UK to Greenbelt, to volunteer with us and to enjoy the festival.
Founded way back at the end of the 19th Century, Modern Church is committed to a liberal theology that says that religious thought and practice must develop in the light of new insights. Its aim is to stop the church getting stuck. It wants to re-invent itself for the 21st Century – and it wants to do that, in part, at Greenbelt!
These are the organisations we can confirm as at the end of January 2018 – but we hope to add another couple in the coming weeks. Watch this space.
Although Church Times are no longer an official partner with us, we are still good friends with each other, and Church House Bookshop will continue to run G-Books at the festival.