Reflections on Blessed at Greenbelt 2011

As I sit in the Contributor’s area with a lovely cup of (free) coffee, I can start to reflect on the Blessed Mass at Greenbelt 2011.

The Venue was brilliant size-wise, and we estimate around 400 people communicated at the Mass, but it was difficult to gauge because it was an open venue, so no clear count was made. It looked full enough to me. The stage was a little cramped with the band and the altar, but technically it wa spot on, the crew knew their stuff and got the cues almost all as the script asked – I had extensive and full scripts for sound, light and video.

The problem was to do with access to the stage: we copuldn’t do the DaVinci tableaux as we had planned, and moving into the people to distribute communion was problematic. The sense of barrier was clear to me. I understand Centaur was laid out very differently but we wouldn’t have had Incense, which was a very good thing. These things are always going to be in tension so overall, I loved being in that venue and would want to go back there, better armed with knowledge of the layout and able to plan with that, we could make it even better next year (hint, hint.

Feedback has been amazing: loads of people have approached me and other members of the Blessed Team to say how much they appreciated the worship, especially as an opener to the Festival.

Here are some comments:

@ramtopsrac: @frsimon that was a wonderful experience – thank you so much (and for sharing the liturgy) Bless you all #blessed  #gb11

@T1r0: @frsimon @blessedaltw Thk u for making gb11 awesome. Really inspiring connection with the living God. 🙂

revpatrickjordan(at)gmail.com: Really enjoyed Blessed at Greenbelt. I am reflecting on forgiveness as light, gentle and playful as a result of the bubbles! Many thanks to what was a great beginning for my Greenbelt experience.

Many others also stopped us (even when I was Stewarding at the Worship Co-op) in the walkways or by the car to give us positive feedback, which they didn’t really need to, but made us all feel good about what we sought to achieve.

Of course, its very place as an opener meant that many could not/would not come and many friends of ours (and 1 concelebrant!) didn’t make the Mass due to traffic. That is the cost of having such a place. The advantage is that our work was done and we have been able to truly enjoy the festival after the stress of Friday evening.

It was marvellous to lead worship with a band, Metanoia who knew and understood liturgy and bought into the Blessed Vision: Fr Robb Sutherland on lead guitar, Dr Ruth Sutherland on Bass and Vocals, Mike Stoodley on keys and Ed Duffy on drums

See also  http://www.moortownbaptistchurch.org.uk/2011/08/26/metanoia-rock-em-at-greenbelt/ 

Now, if we are going to improve on this we need to do another big venue next year, perhaps the Big Top again for perhaps the Centaur. I believe we have proved our capabilities, Metanoia and Blessed want to work closely again next year (and I want to do a smaller, more intimate gig perhaps in Underground: Dubstep Mass perhaps?). To make this happen, why not let Ben Edson and Peter Gunstone know, and tell them what you think we ought to offer next year…  🙂