Green Christian Festival 2020

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Videos and more from our online festival, Re-imagining the Promised Land, 23rd-25th October 2020

So, we came together to re-imagine the promised land. In the midst of pandemic and lockdown, distance proved no barrier as over 200 of us gathered on Zoom to question, to reflect, to learn and to share. Thank you to all who joined us. If you missed it, or want to see the main sessions again, scroll down…

Our event was free of charge, though donations through our website are welcome to help cover costs.  

Friday 23rd October

5pm-6pm Green Christian Annual Members’ Meeting.  
The minutes will be available soon.

7pm Panel: “Re-imagining the Future”
Speakers: Jonathon Porritt, Melanie Nazareth, Cleo Lake, Jeremy Williams (facilitator), plus a recorded video message from Bishop James Jones.

9pm Evening Prayer led by Martin Davis

Saturday 24th October

10am Worship: “Nature and imagination and building a better future”. Recorded worship led by Gina Hoff, with live songs and music from Matt Weeks of Resound and a meditative reflection from Jono Retallick and Joel Payne.

10.30am “A future beyond our imagining”

Frankie Ward, in conversation with Paul Bodenham.  How do we “re-imagine” in a time of collapsing certainties and surging crises? Drawing on the spirituality of unknowing, Frankie accompanied us to a promised land that lies beneath our feet.

1.30pm-3pm “Nature and Imagination”
Speakers: Rob Hopkins and Bridget McKenzie.
Followed by brief break-out groups and plenary questions for speaker.

3.30pm-5pmPanel: “A Better Future: Politics and Practicalities”
Speakers: Rachel Mander (Hope for the Future), Rebecca Willis (Expert lead for Climate Assembly UK, Geoff Stratford (Local activist) and Jenny Cooke (Sustainable transport engineer).

7pm Caleb Parkin and Carrie Etter: “Environment, Poetry and Activism: reading and conversation with Carrie Etter and Caleb Parkin”.  
Interactive session with opportunity for discussion and Q&A.

9pm Evening Prayer led by Martin Davis

Sunday 25th October  

10am Worship“Re-imagining the promised Land”. Recorded Worship led by Andrew Norman, a meditation by Wilderthorn, and live songs and music from Joel Payne of Resound.

10.30am: “Journeying onwards — the path ahead.” Speaker: Sir Ghillean Prance

12 noon: An interactive session looking at “Journeying Onwards – the Path Ahead”, with break out groups and news of exciting plans and projects.

We asked participants how they were feeling about the festival:

Final Prayers led by Chris Walton.

Our speakers:

  • Jenny Cooke: sustainable transport engineer.
  • Carrie Etter: poet, writer and Reader in Creative Writing, Bath Spa University.
  • Rob Hopkins: Transition Movement.
  • Bishop James Jones: Green Christian patron and former Bishop of Liverpool.
  • Cleo Lake: former Lord Mayor of Bristol and Green Party Councillor.
  • Rachel Mander: Hope for the Future.
  • Bridget McKenzie: Founder and Director of Climate Museum UK.
  • Melanie Nazareth: barrister and Christian Climate Action member.
  • Caleb Parkin: poet, facilitator, and Bristol’s City Poet.
  • Sir Jonathon Porritt: Green Christian patron, author of Hope in Hell.
  • Sir Ghillean Prance: Green Christian patron and former Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 
  • Geoff Stratford: local activist.
  • Very Revd Dr Frances Ward: Anglican parish priest, author of Like There’s No Tomorrow.
  • Jeremy Williams: author of The Economics of Arrival, activist, and Joy in Enough.
  • Rebecca Willis: author of Too Hot to Handle; the democratic challenge of climate change and expert lead for Climate Assembly UK.

Our worship leaders:

  • Revd Gina Hoff: Green Christian Chaplain.
  • Revd Andrew Norman: Green Christian Chaplain.
  • Martin Davis: co-ordinator of Cheltenham’s Green Christian Local Group.
  • Revd Ruth Newton:  ‘Greening the Lectionary’ website.
  • Revd Dr Chris Walton:  Chair of The Ringsfield Hall Trust.
  • Matt Weeks and Joel Payne from Resound Worship are singing live from their new Doxecology album Saturday and Sunday mornings.



Author: Editor 1 | Date: 13 September, 2020 | Category: Action GC Events Media Release | Comments: 13

Comments on "Green Christian Festival 2020"

Iain Climie:

October 29, 2020

Hi Paul (Strickland) Thanks for the kind reply and if anyone wants more information on my work about food risks (as well as the lin) I can be reached at I also had a bit of an explosion in the Guardian letters page on Monday 26th October if anyone wishes to look that up.


October 26, 2020

All the sessions, except for the poetry one, were recorded and will be available on the Green Christian YouTube channel by the end of this week.

Pearl Luxon:

October 26, 2020

Were the sessions recorded? I missed this as I was away on holiday, but would love to hear some of the sessions.

Swaraj Jeyasingh:

October 25, 2020

I was only able to join in around 50% of the time due to other commitments but what I heard was very good - content and presentation. Well done. Will definitely be signing up.

Deborah Tomkins:

October 25, 2020

So glad you enjoyed the weekend, Alison! And that you’ve caught up with how much you’re already doing - that’s wonderful. The work of the GC Board and other volunteers is very much about supporting all members in what you are doing or hope or plan to do. So don’t hesitate to ask! We’ll be happy to help.

Alison Blenkinsop:

October 25, 2020

I've been a GC member for some years, but felt rather on the fringes as I thought I should be doing a lot more. I wasn't sure I could cope with the input all weekend, but I got hooked by the friendly and open sharing of the first session, and the fascinating and inspiring speakers in the following and all subsequent sessions. I'm now looking positively at what I can do (and am doing, more than I realised), and aim to connect with key people locally so I feel less like a lone voice. Thank you to all the organisers, it was brilliant.

marisa mann:

October 25, 2020

I've really enjoyed the festival, have learned a lot, and been much inspired. It has also been great to meet so many people who are aware of the environment and i'm glad I have recently joined the group.

Paul Strickland:

October 25, 2020

Sounds wonderful, maybe we can have a festival there one day::)

Paul Strickland:

October 25, 2020

It's probably fair to say that none of us can be conventionally religious with the pandemic nearly closing our buildings; this can be a good thing if it enables us to work outside the box, with everyone of good will. Green Christian has worked closely with Buddhists, for example, even before Covid 19. I'm sure your expertise will be invaluable in the fight against ecological disaster, and it woulr br good to keep in touch.

Iain Climie:

October 24, 2020

I'm not in any way shape or form conventionally religious but can I point you to some work done by a guy who is: Gabe Brown, a North Dakotan farmer who is a prominent proponent of soil restoration & regenerative agriculture as shown by the following link: I work in engineering on functional safety e.g. stopping avionics systems accidentally crashing aircraft. I have research interests in food security though as shown by the following article for the US Climate Coalition (also available on If my views are sound, maybe God really does work in mysterious ways! Any thoughts, though? Iain

Deborah Tomkins:

October 24, 2020

Nikki, So glad you like the Festival! Unfortunately the Poetry session is the only one which will not be recorded, due to publishing constraints. All the other sessions (apart from worship) will be published on our YouTube channel, and can also be accessed from the website. Please do keep in touch about your plans for 2021 - we would be interested to hear more! Best wishes Deborah Tomkins

Nikki Seville:

October 24, 2020

Hello, Looks a wonderful online event. Is it possible to get some of the sessions after today on YouTube or equivalent. I'm not free to tune in today. Very much would like to look at the session 'Environment, Poetry and Activism' by Caleb Parkin and Carrie Etter, tonight at 7pm. We may be able to find a slot for them in next year's Christian Arts Festival, either LIVE or online! It would also be a great idea if we partner in some way with GreenChristian in 2021 as we are holding events all year on the theme of EDEN, Restoring Paradise, beauty, care, destruction, restoration. All best, Nikki, Project Leader

Marie Laken:

October 5, 2020

Hi. Great to see and meet you! Just a thought, i see you don't have speakers for your carbon and land use slot. Just in case it is of interest, my family run a Christian Retreat Centre near Watford which the Lord brought to us and which we have restored with His House at its centre, to 9 acres of wildflower meadows; 3 acres of bluebell woods restored from derelict woodland, and 17 acres of 100 ft conifers (which are majestic albeit not deciduous) all of which are shared with the public through our Diary of Events each year. There are also over 135 native wildflowers on an ancient meadow here too. The Lords House is also underfloor heated by ecotricity and has lambs wool in its wool. The underground chalk stream provides for the Cafe and hopefully, soon for ground source heating for our house. Glad to be of service if you need us. In His Grace, Marie Laken (Mrs) for The "Faith Works" Trust

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