MANY campers went to bed in flooded tents last night, but awoke
to glorious sunshine. Many will have agreed with Church
Times columnist Canon Giles Fraser, who tweeted from his tent
on Sunday morning: "Weather is a right old flirt. She was in a
disgusting mood yesterday. And now this morning she is all smiles,
as if nothing ever happened."
BBC Radio 4's Sunday Worship was broadcast from the
festival at 8.10 a.m. on Sunday morning. Dr Paula Gooder (
Faith) preached; the Revd Richard Coles and John Bell gave
readings, and the Revd Dr Kate Coleman said the prayers.
At 10.30 a.m., the Greenbelt Communion service took place on the
main stage. Greenbelt's main Sunday eucharist is always
contentious, as the organisers attempt the impossible task of
meeting the varied expectations of their congregation while being
committed to innovation. This year there was a response to
criticism that last year's service had not been sufficiently
all-age: so we had bubble blowing, Fischy Music songs, and a
specific task for children in the eucharistic groups. There would
have been more participation in processions, had the area
immediately in front of the mainstage not been turned into a swamp
by the previous day's rain.
Including new songs meant that we were back to needing a
half-hour song practice before the service could start; unlike
previous years, though, the songs were so catchy that the
congregation picked them up quickly and sang with enthusiasm. Some
of that enthusiasm was lost in the wordy bits of the communion, but
there was plenty of visual material to enjoy, and the sun was
shining. And the now established practice of doing communion in
loose groups of 20 worked well.
And the tone was right, helped by a ceilidh atmosphere. So, when
sunflower seeds were handed round at the end, the symbolism was
undercut by a confession from the celebrant that they were, in
fact, roasted and salted, so probably not much good for
Sunday's highlights include Peter Tatchell, the human rights
campaigner, speaking on gay civil marriage and straight civil
partnerships, and the former Bishop of Durham, Dr Tom Wright,
speaking on the Gospels and Christian hope.