From Colette Joyce
Sir, - I would reply to Canon Angela Tilby (Comment, 29 August) that
the whole point of Greenbelt is the emphasis on "Festival" rather
than "Christian". As a Christian festival, Greenbelt, in one
glorious weekend, offers a celebration of the many manifestations
of Christianity, including its ecumenical, interfaith, artistic,
and social-justice dimensions. There can surely be few other
opportunities to encounter the sheer breadth and diversity of our
faith in just one space.
That's why I go to Greenbelt. I look forward to meeting her
there one year.
National Justice and Peace Network organiser of the Catholic
Mass at Greenbelt
28 Rossington Avenue
Borehamwood, Herts WD6 4LA
From Katharine Salmon
Sir, - Having attended Greenbelt for more than 20 years, I
was delighted to see your excellent coverage of the festival. This
year, it certainly was a brave departure for a new greenfield site.
There were the inevitable teething problems, and those organising
the festival are to be commended for all they did to make it
possible. I was, therefore, very sorry to read the negative comment
by Canon Tilby.
To label it sectarian not only is disappointing, but undermines
the very boundaries that Greenbelt has always sought to cross.
Greenbelters come from every denomination, and yet those who have
left institutional church behind for a multitude of reasons can
nevertheless feel at home. I have friends who feel that their only
church is Greenbelt, and yet who find the festival's justice ethic
gets under their skin and leads them back to a worshipping
There are others who may put a lot of time and effort into their
church community, and need the experience of Greenbelt to give them
refreshment and new ideas. When I was in leadership in a small
church community, I described Greenbelt as the inspiration that saw
me through the rest of the year and helped bring new ways of
worship to my community.
I am privileged now to worship in communities that see Greenbelt
as part of their year, with children who are now second- and third-
generation Greenbelters. Another important part of the festival is
hearing from amazing Christians whose work may be breaking down
barriers in inner-city Glasgow with the Iona Community, or serving
as an Ecumenical Accompanier in Palestine.
I hope Canon Tilby will come to the 42nd Greenbelt Festival next
22 Greystones Road
Sheffield S11 7BN
From the Revd John Longuet-Higgins
Sir, - Greenbelt 2014 travelled far too lightly. Previously a
Greenbelt supporter, I left this year cross and early, wondering
why the Church Times stays on board and why Anglicans
There was nothing headlining home-grown Anglicans, apart from a
brand-new bishop running the music and poetry in "Canopy". None of
the worship offered was even remotely Anglican. Has the C of E
nothing to add to the world of Greenbelt, except for a Durham
ethicist hinting publicly that, post equal-marriage, a common
Christian take on marriage is too complex to matter any more, and
Andrew Brown declaring that "Anglicanism isn't worth saving"?
The Rectory, Over Old Road
Hartpury, Gloucestershire GL19 3BJ