For the second time in as many weekends I campaigned with CAFOD at a festival. Green Belt Festival in Cheltenham stretches out over the August Bank Holiday weekend, and combines popular music, comedy, talks and wonderful world foods. Going into its 40th year, Green Belt is the biggest Christian festival in the U.K.
CAFOD was represented by members of its campaigns team and six volunteers from as far afield as Zimbabwe. We split our time between manning the colourful CAFOD stall and roving around the tents and stages asking festival goers to sign a petition to David Cameron calling for a fairer food system as part of the new ‘Hungry for Change’ campaign.
Despite all the rain and mud we had an inspiring response. We collected over 1700 signatures and made many new friends in the process. I found the crowd very engaging and knowledgeable about world poverty, especially young people who recognised CAFOD from visits to their schools.
This was my first Green Belt Festival but also my first faith festival. I really enjoyed the variety of acts on show, especially hearing the likes of Robin Ince talk and the folk band ‘Folk On’. I also had my first experience of ‘Taize’, a meditative service of chants inspired by the Taize community in France.
I have never come home from a festival feeling so revitalised and fresh. I can think of no better way to describe Green Belt than food for your mind, food for your heart and food for your soul. The hearty nourishment I received at Green Belt makes me think of those around the world who won’t have enough food to eat today.
If you would like to volunteer with CAFOD at Green Belt Festival or participate in a CAFOD event, campaign or fundraiser, please contact us at CAFOD Westminster on 0208 4496970 or Westminster@cafod.org.uk.