Each year at Greenbelt we are reminded that we are better together; that if we want to walk a long way, then it’s good to make the journey with others. So, in a spirit of partnership, here’s a quick run-down of the wonderful organisations we’re proud to be working with this year for Greenbelt 2019, Wit and Wisdom.
Our main partner more than for 25 years now (yes, that’s over a quarter of a century), Christian Aid leads and shapes our theology, thought and action around global development, advocacy and campaigning.
We look forward to collaborating with them again this year in our bid to make sure that Greenbelt stays on the right side of history – for the sake of the millions of people on this good earth whose lives are precarious because of systems and selfishness way beyond their control.
Christian Aid, we salute you and your vision to ending poverty worldwide. Watch out for them around site and in their brilliant cafe venue, with pay what you feel food available courtesy of The Real Junk Food Project in Leeds.
This year, Christian Aid’s campaigning focus at the festival (and after) will be around confronting the power and privilege that blinds most of us to the real impacts of climate change. In a fun way!
We’re delighted to be working with these brand new associate partners and sponsors
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW)
As a Christian organisation CSW stands with everyone facing injustice around the world because of their religion or belief. They believe that everyone should be free to believe and that everyone has the right to practise a religion or belief of their choice. This is the heartbeat of CSW: what they stand for, what they believe and the foundations of what they do. It’s their rallying call to us all to stand with them against injustice. They’ll be working with us at the festival through their ‘Love Letters’ campaign – encouraging us all to take the time to write a letter to a prisoner of conscience, held captive because of their beliefs.
The Pickwell Foundation exists to connect with charities that are working with displaced people and with those combating climate change. They work collaboratively with those organisations, providing grants to support their essential work to protect people and planet. We are delighted that this year they will supporting us to introduce a brand new venue into the festival mix focussed on programming around climate change and how we can make a difference.
The Trussell Trust runs a network of over 400 food banks, giving emergency food and support to people in crisis across the UK, where thirteen million people live below the poverty line. In the last year they gave 1,182,954 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis. They also engage decision-makers with the realities of poverty and are particularly interested in ensuring the UK has a robust welfare safety net and that work that pays enough to keep people out of poverty. Last year at the festival, Trussell Trust collaborated with us on Jack Monroe’s “Cooking on a Bootstrap” sessions in our Table food venue.
Winchester University (Department of Theology, Religion & Philosophy)
With an enviable reputation for its values-led, inter-disciplinary academic approach and as one of the institutions regularly voted close to the top of the lists of the best places to study in the UK, Winchester University will be back at the festival again, bringing us their academic rigour in order to help us think, believe and act better. We are proud to partner with their Department of Theology, Religion and Philosophy.
United Reformed Church (URC)
We’re delighted that the URC will be back at the festival, with all their creativity and diversity. An intercultural church, in the URC people with varied ethnic roots enrich each other’s Christian living. URC members hold a range of opinions about theology and church life, but work together to witness to the God they believe in and bring the love that springs from this.
As the oldest and largest youth charity in the world, YMCA in England and Wales intensively support 228,000 young people every year, ensuring each young person they meet has an opportunity to belong, contribute and thrive. YMCA brings groups – leaders and residents – from all over the UK to Greenbelt, to volunteer with us and to enjoy the festival. Once again, they’ll be supporting us to deliver our youth venues, programming and support.
Founded way back at the end of the 19th Century, Modern Church is committed to a liberal theology that says that religious thought and practice must develop in the light of new insights. Its aim is to stop the church getting stuck. It wants to re-invent itself for the 21st Century – and it wants to do that, in part, at Greenbelt! Once again. Modern Church will be supporting us to invite some great contributors to Greenbelt who we otherwise could not afford to bring.
Citizens UK organises communities to act together for power, social justice and the common good. They are the home of community organising in the UK, with diverse civil society alliances across the country. They develop the leadership capacity of their members so they can hold politicians and other decision-makers to account on the issues that matter to them. Quite simply, they believe that community organising is democracy in action – resulting in winning victories that change lives and transform communities. At the festival this year, they will be working intensively with a small group of young people to train and empower them to become single-use plastic champions in their schools and communities.
Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS)
ACS will be back with a collection of like-minded, co-operative organisations, this year including newcomers Resonance, a social impact investment company from the south-west, to make The Exchange venue tick at the festival – a space dedicated to all sorts of exploration and conversations around doing business for social good.