A guest blog from Simon Cross, who has worked with us to curate our devotion and spirituality programme for the 2016 festival – Greenbelt : Silent Stars.
Some people call it worship, others prefer to talk about devotion.
There are big stage types, and front room types.
There are indoors types, and outdoors types.
Those for whom it really has to be loud, and those who relish the quiet.
And there are in-betweeners too.
Traditionalists, and experimenters.
Those who have rediscovered the old, and those who have pushed the boundaries of innovation.
There are those for whom it is distinctly political.
Earthed and grounded in day to day realities.
And there are those for whom its entirely a transcendent, ecstatic, experience.
There aren’t many arts festivals which have a mass act of worship at their very core. There’s probably only one that would turn it over to be led from start to finish by children.
There’s certainly only one festival which consistently pushes the boundaries.
And has done for quite a long time now. And shows no signs of stopping.
The 2016 Greenbelt worship lineup includes: DJ led Pentecostalism; Forest Church nature connection; immersive interactive installations; liturgies; dances; and a Camper Van of Dreams.
It’s going to be led and facilitated by priests; poets; protestors; ravers; radicals; artists; musicians; and a scientist or two. And some children.
There will be prayer.
There will be singing.
There will be silence and stillness.
And there will be lots of movement, and laughter, and smiles and solemnity.
Then next year it will be different. It always is.