Cafe conversation in The Foundry

Cafe conversation in The Foundry

The Foundry is a brand new venue at Greenbelt 2019 where you can be part of the conversation; where your story can become part of the bigger story – of the festival and beyond.

It’s a place where you can go deeper and dig into the heart of the issues that matter and share your own angles on them, your own stories that connect with them. From conversations on the Far Right, to civil disobedience, living Out, modern-day relationships, societal inequality, artistry, activism, faith, inter-faith, Palestine, migration and more.

The cafe will be run by a Greenbelt volunteer team (meaning all your spending in the Foundry will benefit the festival you love!). It will have a simple, homely, hospitable feel, serving up mint tea and strong black coffee (forget your lattes and cappuccinos). And, into the evening, we’re planning a small range of non-alcoholic drinks, providing an alternative to the Jesus Arms for night-time chat and drinking.

The conversations will be facilitated – between artists, festival-goers and experts – as together we go deeper into the themes and concerns of the festival, and share and pool our stories and knowledge in the hope of finding some collective wisdom to help us all move forward. We want this to be a space where the sorts of conversations, that would have happened around the campfire at gatherings in days gone by, can still happen.

The conversations will be hosted with gentle grace and good humour – with ground rules designed to keep the space welcoming, encouraging, safe and inclusive. This is a space for conversation, not a battle of opinions.

The Foundry is a space in which you need to leave your preconceptions at the entrance, as together we learn to listen and share better and more truthfully. Where we make connections and discover how our story fits into the bigger stories of the day – including the old, old story we still tell about God.

We’re grateful for the support of the Methodist Church in helping us create this space – drawing inspiration from the name of the original Wesleyan Chapel in London, The Foundry, and from Barbara Glasson’s and Clive Marsh’s (the Methodist President and Vice President) new book So What’s The Story? in which they encourage us to listen to the stories of others as we try to live creative and generous lives of faith and justice in our communities.

Each day Barbara and Clive will lead a reflection (you might even call it a “class” – if you want to be properly Methodist about it) on their So What’s the Story? approach – and then, across the day and into the evening, we’ll invite you to gather for small, intimate conversations on a host of topics in which your voice can be heard.

So, what’s the story? You are the story. Come and join us in The Foundry.

Pictured – the style of venue The Foundry will be. (This image was taken at How The Light Gets In festival, at Hay on Wye, May 2019.)