Here & now Luke Framji
Luke Framji enjoys being revolting at Greenbelt
This year, I volunteered for the second time at Greenbelt festival, a vibrant and special three-day burst of joy which feels like a complete oasis from the bad news which often surrounds us. As I trod the familiar paths back to the URC’s food waste café, it was as if the last 12 months had been just the blink of an eye.
Greenbelt is an almost magical place. It’s the sort of place where you can walk from a Christian bookshop into a drag show, dropping into a talk on Palestinian liberation along the way. It’s somewhere that thousands of people will join together for communion, before grabbing a beer and singing along to Miley Cyrus. If you’d shown my younger self this celebration of faith, justice and the arts I wouldn’t have believed it existed. If my super-conservative family knew that this festival was festooned with pride flags they’d think it was practically sacrilegious. And yet, this is a place where I’ve never felt closer to my faith, more hopeful that the message of Jesus can change the world, or more convinced the Church has something special to offer society.
At Greenbelt, I’m constantly amazed by the power of the United Reformed Church to bring people together. Listen to the media, or even many of our own members, and we are the dying embers of a 50-year-old experiment – desperate for signs of life. And yet once a year the Church manages to come together, and with a vibrant team of volunteers we feed thousands of people with food that was due to be wasted. It feels like the sort of thing Jesus himself would have got stuck in with…
Luke Framji is a member of St Andrews-with-Castlegate United Reformed Church, Nottingham
This article was published in the October 2023 edition of Reform