As August arrives I start to get seriously excited about Greenbelt. Since I discovered it three years ago, the festival has been a vital part of my Christian walk, enthusing me, challenging me, irritating me and informing me in equal measures. Already I have many happy memories of Greenbelt - sitting in an inflatable church (!) listenening to a panel of writers enthusing about science fiction - singing "Jerusalem" at the top of my voice with Billy Bragg - praying my way round the Chartres Labyrinth - sharing a curry supper with more people than I would have thought it was possible to feed from a couple of camping stoves - yelling my heart out to "Letter from America" at an uproarious Proclaimers concert - listening to Gareth Higgins open windows in my mind, convincing me that it's possible to love God AND cinema......
I love the atmosphere at Greenbelt, the heady mixture of new ideas, great (and not so great) music, passion for justice, inclusivity, alternative worship, sunshine, good food, and basic sanitation - it all smells to me like an authentic whiff of Kingdom living, a foretaste of what life under God's rule could be like.
Have a look at the website at www.greenbelt.org.uk and get yourself a ticket for this year's festival (25-28 August at Cheltenham Racecourse). Maybe one day we will have a circle of tents at Greenbelt, with the banner of "Nimrods" fluttering overhead?