Christmas is coming and, with so many good things available from Greenbelt friends, we thought we’d give you some top tips for Greenbelt-y gifts.
Greenbelt, by Malak Mattar
19 year-old Malak Mattar is the Gazan artist who was due to be with us at Greenbelt 2018, but her visa was denied. We still managed to show her work in the Tapestry Suite of Boughton House, and we spoke to her via Skype over the weekend. This led to Malak painting a new piece called ‘Greenbelt’, which she has now made a limited print run of, and is available here. All the funds will go to supporting Malak’s education.
Former Greenbelt trustee Abi Hewitt has founded Love Welcomes – an organisation that provides meaningful work to refugee women creating beautiful products (pictured above) from, among other things, life vests. The pay they earn gives the women a sense of purpose, reducing their despair and raising their self-esteem, while the products raise awareness of their plight.
‘Some days arrive with questions so vast we feel like strangers on earth. Other times our joy makes us feel entirely at home in ourselves…’ Where can we find inspiration for living a rewarding life? This is the question at the heart of a new book by two familiar Greenbelt names, Malcolm Doney and Martin Wroe. ‘Lifelines’ (Notes on Life & Love, Faith & Doubt), is an experiment in drawing on the genius of poets, songwriters and novelists, inside and outside of the stories of faith, to come up with some practical tools for living a good life. U2’s Bono calls it ‘sacred text for the more earthy reader’. From love and forgiveness to loss and longing, the book is visually striking, designed by former Time Out Art Director Simon Gunn. Film director Nick Park (creator of Wallace and Gromit) calls it ‘a wonderfully rich collection of inspiring and humorous reflections’, while poet Vanessa Kisuule finds it ‘generous, profound and challenging.’
Out of the Box
Out of the Box cards is a venture set up by four friends very much connected with Greenbelt. Jenny Baker, Daisy Holland, Grace Rae and Phoebe Reith Ibery decided it was time that greetings cards for girls got a whole lot more real and a whole lot less pink and princess-y. Their Kickstarter campaign saw them raise nearly double the amount they needed to start their counter-cultural business. Why not look out for them out?
Jack Monroe cookbooks
Jack Monroe, one of the stars of this year’s new food venue, The Table, has a new book coming out in which all the ingredients come from tins! It’s due out next spring, but why not pre-order it now and it’ll be a nice surprise in May. It might also inspire some new recipes on the campsite at Greenbelt 2019! (Meanwhile, her fabulous Cooking on a Bootstrap cookbook can be ordered here. )
Walking to Jerusalem
Many of you may recall the walk our friends from Amos Trust made from London to Jerusalem last year to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration. Their extraordinary 3,400 kilometre, 147-day journey has been documented in a book by Greenbelter Justin Butcher. Walking to Jerusalem: Blisters, Hope and Other Facts on the Ground can be ordered here.
The Power of Love
Bishop Michael Curry, the presiding bishop and primate of the Episcopal Church, preached that sermon at the wedding on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Greenbelt was delighted to host him in conversation with Cole Moreton at Southwark Cathedral this autumn. His new book The Power of Love contains the text from his sermon at the Royal Wedding along with other thoughts on love and justice. (The audio from his conversation with Cole is here.)
A Greenbelt Festival ticket or the All-Talks USB stick
What about giving the actual gift of Greenbelt this at Christmas this year? Why not give someone a festival ticket? Imagine that: opening up an envelope in the depths of winter and then glowing at the prospect of a ssummer-long weekend at your favourite festival! Or why not give those you love a recorded talks stick? With 84 different talks on it from 2018, that’s just over one-and-a-half talks a week for the whole of next year. (Last day to order for Christmas delivery is Friday 14th December 2018.)
Alternatively, bake those you love a cake, sew them a cushion, do their chores, have a dance with them, or have a cup of tea and spend some quality time together.
May your Advent be a peaceful, stress-free one! Perhaps even a time of rich reflection.