Greenbelt is an amazing thing – their official statement about themselves is Greenbelt is an independent Christian charity working to express love, creativity and justice in the arts and contemporary culture in the light of the Christian gospel.
For us it was something like: social justice, creativity, theology, alt. worship, other worship… 20 000 or so people with all their tents and campervans and folding chairs and umbrellas taking to Cheltenham race course for four days of festival.
And so it came to pass that Andrew and I spent our 15th anniversary sitting on the grass, listening to theologians: more particularly (at anniversary time) Dave Tomlinson and Jenny MacIntosh talking about “What the hell do we believe?”
And then, in what was definitely a Greenbelt highlight (and I reckon, even though this is just the beginning of the third week, it’s going to be a sabbatical highlight) we went to Ikon‘s Pyro-theology: a piece of what they call theodrama or transformance art sparked by a Buenaventura Durruti quote: “The only church that illuminates is a burning church”. It was an amazing experience: visceral, challenging, warming, moving, provoking… It’s hard to know what to say. Aesthetically superb (see photos here ) Intellectually stimulating. Theologically sharp. And somehow, in all of that, a powerful sense of the ritual container providing a place to be at home: all of me – cynical, passionate, thoughtful, irrational, faithful, embodied… Thanks Ikon.