THE power of prayer, then, was not enough to spare the Greenbelt
Festival from the rain that has blighted so many of this
summer's outdoor events.
On Saturday afternoon, when the festival was in full swing, the
clouds burst. Within minutes, water was seeping, or in some
instances cascading, into various venues on the site.
A combination of prayer, forward planning, and hard-working
volunteers, however, meant that the inundation had hardly any
effect on the huge Greenbelt programme. A few years ago, a run of
bad summers almost finished the festival. But then came the move to
the Cheltenham Racecourse, and now the organisers have a range of
venues to choose from, many of them indoors.
As a result, few events were cancelled, and only one small area
of the campsite suffered. The Big Top was soggy, and a talks venue,
"Galilee", lived up to its name. The chief impact was on the
pathway in the middle of the site, which became a quagmire, and
Numbers were slightly down, either because of the weather or the
financial climate, but only by about 500-600, the organisers say.
About 19,400 came throughout the weekend. And the sun shone for the
Sunday-morning eucharist, at which about £39,000 was collected to
be given away by Trust Greenbelt.
The Church Times is the official Greenbelt