Reaching for Mercy

Reaching for Mercy

A guest blog from Andy Freeman of our Associate Space to Breathe – about Proost, a long-term friend of Greenbelt and now operating in a new home…

One of my big expectations for our work at the Greenbelt Festival is the opportunity to reconnect Proost with the Greenbelt Festival where it has so many of its beginnings.

Proost was formed by Jonny Baker, Jon Birch and Aad Vermeyden out of the Alt. Worship scene in the late 90s.  Imagine contemplative spirituality meets electronic music, meets storytelling and youth work and you get some of the idea.

Proost has been running an online art and worship site for nearly two decades, but in 2015, Jonny offered Space to Breathe the chance to take Proost on and take it in another direction.

So we now champion Proost as a place for art with soul and try to create a sense of community and support for all those musicians, poets, artists and creatives who link their art to their journey of faith … whatever path that may take.

Each night at the festival, we’ll have a special ‘Proost Presents’ evening in the Shelter from 6.30pm to 7.45pm. These nights will feature Jonny and our alt. worship beginnings as well as a dreamy, contemporary and ambient night of DJ, poetry and art on Sunday evening. 

However, on Saturday night we’re excited to share an evening of Spoken Word and Spirituality with a sense of protest.   It’ll all be fueled by Reaching for Mercy our second poetry collection with work from a host of poets, most of whom have never published work before.  We’ll give them the mic on Saturday night and let them champion a desire to reach for mercy amongst all the chaos of our world.  

This book will be launched during the festival weekend and available in the bookshop.

“Here is poetry arising from the beautiful souls of poets you have passed on the street, never knowing they carried words that must be spoken,” writes editor and curator Chris Goan “The poems are, at times, angry howls of protest or cries of lament.  At other times they are saturated with hope.”

Come and see ‘Proost Presents’ on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in the Shelter 6.30-7.45pm. 

Proost is part of Space to Breathe who are associate partners at the festival and will be involved in programming across the four days.