So the sun has set on Greenbelt again for another year. I had a fabulous time hanging out with our youth council, with young people from the diocese leading some fantastic worship, with young (and not so young!) people from my old parish, with youth work types on the youthwork matters stall and with all those people who you bump into by chance in a Greenbelt way. Notable was the soap opera-style coincidence of coming out of the Church Times tent with my new Dave Walker book and Cartoon Church calendar for the office to bump right into Dave himself! I promise he wasn't just hanging around watching how the pile of his books was reducing.
So what did I get up to? To be honest there weren't as many talks that really caught my imagination as last time I was there (2005) Jenny Baker was great (despite gales trying to steal her notes), Brian Maclaren was excellent on the subject of praying ina vulnerbale open way and John Bell, as always, was a joy to listen to on the subject of miracles. I also popped along to see Jon Birch of ASBOJesus who was very funny but rather short (in the time sense - only half an hour) pictured here (my endeavours to get a good pic were somewhat hampered by the guy in the hat!)
The overall experience for me was a mix of great chilling (at the proost lounge, in the blue hour with safespace, at blessed's funky mass - with me in three of the pics on Simon's site) and some fab music (Taize, Finchley, Jose Gonzalez, Yvonne Lyon, Beth Rowley, MxPx etc) I went to far more music than I did last time. My proudest moment had to be joining St the young people of St Barnabas for their youthmass which was truly awesome. There was a little bit of, well lets call them teething trouble, at the venue but all came right in the end and young person who came along to it was clearly blown away by the experience which made it all even better!
I still failed to get to any actual art workshops which I REALLY meant to do this year... next time... but I did do a bit of drawing inspired by some of the talks.
For me I think the overall sense was of gentle encouragement. Yvonne Lyon's songs Walk in the Rain and Down to the River plus Here Comes the Sun at the main eucharist and stuff from the talks all came together in the phrase "Here comes the Sun... it's alright"