Looking back at Cliff Festival 2023


Green Christian Stall

Cliff College, a Methodist evangelical learning college, has a festival every year around May Bank Holiday, known locally as Cliff Fest.

Many of the Festival goers have a Christian faith, others are perhaps more “on the edge” – all come to the Festival to enjoy Bible teaching , discussion, music and vibe.

For the first time this year, Green Christian had a stall, and led some workshops, and so were able to contribute to this year’s festival theme – Eden Restored. Interest in festival goers in Green Christian’s values and concerns had been sparked in the main Festival talks, led this year by Dr Ruth Valerio, and others.

The talks discussed significant garden encounters in Scripture,, from the Garden of Eden at the very start of the bible, to the tree of life and restoration of all things in the book of Revelation. Ruth majored in each of her three talks on our relationships, so on “relationship with the Creator” “relationships with one another” and “relationship with the rest of creation”. She helped us consider what it means to live in and witness to the Kingdom of God in a world that is messy and broken now, and that will one day be fully restored to its created glory, while reflecting on the meaning of our call to be part of bringing that Kingdom in now, and to honour God as we look after, and live with all of creation.

At the Green Christian Stall, we offered leaflets and resources, and perhaps more importantly, had conversations, with festival goers whose interest had been sparked by some of the main Festival talks. Some of those were Christians who were already committed to bringing their churches into more active awareness and action around climate and ecological justice, who could use some more encouragement. Others were with people who were gradually, or quickly realising how vitally important engagement with these issues is for people of faith, and were looking for ideas of where and how to start, and yet more conversations were with people who had at least stopped to engage in conversation, but who found the whole discussion difficult, controversial, and felt that environmental concerns are very much secondary to other calls on people of faith – they had obviously missed the essence of the talks, that environmental concern is integral to our Creator and to us as people of faith, and were listened to then gently challenged as they talked on a one to one basis at the stall.

The workshops we led instilled further interest in Green Christian, as were an introduction to the Deep Waters and Plenty courses, and contacts were made with church members who would like to connect with these courses themselves or with their churches.

All in all it was a positive experience, and along with New Wine and Greenbelt Festivals, where Green Christian is also having a presence this year, a major way of reaching out to people as they travel on their journey of Christian concern for the planet, climate, and justice.



Author: Catherine Fish | Date: 26 August, 2023 | Category: Uncategorized | Comments: 0

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