As much as the wonderful Greenbelt can ever be disappointing, Greenbelt 2013 was disappointing. The weather was dry, the atmosphere fabulously festive, the people beautiful, the communion moving, but something was missing. There was not one talk on the environment. And we were the only environmental group there. Thank God for Christian Ecology Link! And thank God for the amazing Hannah Martin, someone Westley and I had met at the Balcombe protest the weekend before, who asked a question at the end of Jim Wallis’ talk and later spoke at Speakers Corner.
The lack of other eco groups made our presence more important and more appreciated by festival-goers. We picked up over 50 new subscribers to our members and friends e-newsletter and 85 people voted in our poll on economics, answering the question, ‘Can the earth cope with any more economic growth?’ 71% said no, and 25% said yes, but often with qualifications such as, ‘Only if sustainable.’ This provides a strong mandate for our Joy in Enough project to help churches get society talking about alternatives to growth.
Though it was a little tame after Reclaim the Power, personally, I had as fabulous a time as ever. I was there with my two girls, plus a borrowed one, which meant going to the comedians Milton Jones and Paul Kerensa (who included mention of climate change), the protest singer Grace Petrie and even the silent disco.