The “thin” moment where each Sunday morning since 1974, everything else at GREENBELT stops. When we gather to worship God and share in the Festival Communion together. Listen, watch and download resources from the past four years.

2019 - Love in the face of empire

The Festival Communion service at Greenbelt 2019 put the story of Christmas at its heart.

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2018 - Windrush and Carnival

The Festival Communion service at Greenbelt 2018 put the story of Windrush, racial inclusion and justice at its heart.

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2017 - Please bring a body

The Festival Communion service at Greenbelt 2017 put access and inclusion at its heart.

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The Festival Communion service at Greenbelt 2016 was led from start to finish by children. 

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Earlier services

Inspired by Pope Francis’ ‘Laudato si’, our Greenbelt Communion Service this year is conceived and shaped by Br Sam and the Franciscan community at Hilfield Friary in Dorset. They will be joined by Bishops Libby Lane from Stockport and Pushpa Lalitha from South India. Music comes from Ewan King of the King/Cave Project.

Travelling light means we travel together, bearing one another’s burdens and joys, and lightening the load of our journey. Led by Rev. Becca Stevens and folks from the church she leads in Nashville, this year’s Communion Service draws musical inspiration from American roots, and will be grounded in the radical love found in Thistle Farms. As we learn to let go of the past, and forgive ourselves and others, we will leave inspired to love the whole world, one person at a time.

With Barbara Brown Taylor
The Wild Goose Resource Group lead us in a service that gives thanks for Greenbelt’s 40-year journey so far – by taking us on a musical pilgrimage through some of the popular devotional music of those four decades! The Gospel sees a re-telling of the Parable of the Talents, focussing on God’s outrageous generosity.

An Elemental Eucharist.
The poet Denise Levertov talks of saving paradise when she says: “we have only begun to love the earth. We have only begun to imagine the fullness of life, how it might be to live as siblings with beast and flower.” And Rainer Maria Rilke encouraged us to be like children, to begin again, “to learn from the things, because they are in God’s heart; they have never left him.” So, come and join the feast on Sunday morning – where we will celebrate with the elements of wind and water, fire and earth, bread and wine – elements of carnival and contemplation.

Living under canvas for a weekend reminds us we are all traveling on a journey of faith, dreaming of our home with God, seeking a place of shelter and security. In bread and wine, we recognise and celebrate the God who travels with and within us, we are moved to share with each other, to seek justice for the poor and displaced.

Worship led by Rev Vince Anderson of Revolution Church, NYC, backed by London-based gospel choir, IDMC. Rev Nadia Bolz-Weber brings us her reflection and Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin is our celebrant. All held together by BEYOND in Brighton, creating an all-age participatory spectacle in which we discover together what it means to be a pilgrim people, pausing on our journeys home.

Communion has always contained the sideways look. At Da Vinci’s Last Supper table, extending lengthways across a room, the disciples are forced to look not ahead or around at one another, but along another axis. On the cross prefigured in that bread broken and wine poured, a man looks not just to God above or the earth below, but to two thieves at his side. Our Greenbelt communion will be focusing on these sideways glances, these places where we turn our heads and look along another axis. Away from money, vanity and power, across to the collision between art and justice and faith.

Songs, Signs and Stories from the Land long called Holy. On Sundays at Greenbelt we have a tradition: the main Festival programme has a lie-down for an hour and everyone is invited to meet together at the Mainstage for our Festival service. It’s the one thing we do together. This year, drawing in our longtime friendships with the people of Israel and Palestine, the service is inspired by their stories… and by the humble olive seed which grows quietly in the long now.

We ‘throw those curtains wide’ when the sun shines; we mope when it doesn’t. Pouring energy and life our lives, God shines on us, like the great sun itself. Processing from the north, south, east and west, we gather together to celebrate the source of all light, heat and life: ‘the sun of righteousness, rising with healing in its wings.’ And as we gather music from the east – where the sun first touches the earth each day – awakens our senses. Looking to the Rising Sun, we turn our eyes eastward. We invite you all to wear bright colours so that – dressed in oranges, reds and yellows – we create a living sea of light. Lusmarina Campos Carcia, Terry MacArthur.

On a beautiful day over two thousand years ago in Cana, Galilee, a wedding was celebrated. During that wedding feast the miraculous happened, and the guests saw a glimmer of heaven. Today we invite you to join with us as we remember the story, share in the feast and celebrate the guest who brought heaven into the ordinary. So prepare yourself for a wedding. We go to weddings with expectant hearts, yes, and with enquiring minds. But, above all, we got to share with friends and family. We go for a celebration, for public words of covenant, for a banquet. The food and drink will be provided; just turn up in your finery and the host will meet you there.

One night in Egypt, an apprehensive people gathered to eat a hasty meal of lamb, bitter herbs and unleavened bread. With their coats on and their possessions bundled on their backs, they waited for the cue to sing their redemption songs. This year we follow their journey into freedom as we celebrate the meal that Jesus gave us and we sing redemption to the world around us.

Sunday morning communion is always an event for the whole Greenbelt family: a bit like Christmas dinner, it’s the one time we all come together to celebrate our unity and diversity. And this year, ‘celebration’ is the theme, with a carnival feel that will draw you into worship from 9.45 onwards as South African funksters Four Kornerz sing before the service starts at 10.30.