Our friends at Upton Baptist Church were out as Festival Angels at the Folk Festival at the beginning of May sharing that #JesusLovesFestivals. They report:
Over 100 people at a special church gathering yesterday morning - people coming to relationship with Jesus, healings, tears, a whole heap of love and grace and hope - and folk music thrown in for good measure! Others have been coming back to church throughout the day to ask questions and to request prayer All in all it’s been wonderful!
The final Festival Angels team of 2019 were at Mint Festival at East Leeds Airport in Church Fenton. Working with Simon Biddlestone, the curate of the local Anglican church, the team offered detached work
Streams of Living Water! We Are The Church
During the hottest August Bank Holiday on record over 60 volunteers from across Chester and Liverpool Dioceses came together to serve the revellers at the Creamfields Festival. Held each year at Daresbury in the Deanery of Great Budworth the electronic music festival attracts over 70,000 people. This is the third year that there has been an official Christian presence on site. Over the course of the weekend volunteers gave out out in excess of 4000 litres of water and 2,800 Jammy Dodgers! ‘Record temperatures meant that we saw a lot of heat exhaustion, sunburn and dehydration this year’ said Jonny Masters, Diocesan Youth, Children and Families' Missioner and member of the planning team, ‘We worked very hard to get water to those who needed it and were moved by how grateful people were for our help.’
This year the organisers of Creamfields approached the planning team to ask them to double their presence on site and will be in discussion in the coming year to see how their presence might be further expanded in the future. Planning Team Leader Rev’d Jane Proudfoot reflected that, ‘our ecumenical team of volunteers have been brilliant! They’ve had incredible conversations, funny moments, moving experiences, eye-opening, heart rending, godly encounters and I know that the blessing has been mutual - they have been a blessing and they have received blessing from those they have helped’, she continued, ‘There have been some really difficult things that some of our team have dealt with, they have gone the extra mile to help and care. Their faith and trust in what God has been doing through them at Creamfields is amazing!’
New volunteer Melanie said ‘I was nervous and excited going but surprised myself for feeling part of the team and comfortable talking to people. It was just such a joy and privilege to work with beautifully blessed and like-minded people and with the festival goers who where just so appreciative and surprised to get free biscuits, water and kindness.’
More volunteers will be needed next year and full training is given. The only requirement is that you enjoy meeting people and are a good listener. The team are grateful for the donations from churches across the Diocese that enable this mission. If you would like to donate, get involved in volunteering or to find out more, please contact the planning team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Once again Festival Angels volunteers were making a difference at music festivals and events across the UK.
Festival Angels began life at Leeds Festival in 2011 and has grown over the years with 2019 seeing teams at 14 different music festivals including Kendal Calling, YNot, Eastern Electrics and Creamfields.
The heart of the Festival Angels is to help festival goers have a safe and enjoyable time through the offer of detached teams, safe hubs, prayer cafes and, at Leeds, running Lost Property.
Our teams went above and beyond time and again. This year has seen us patrolling through the rain and mud of Kendal Calling; supporting those who had turned up in Newquay for Boardmasters which was cancelled the day before the start due to the forecast of 65mph winds; and keeping thousands of people hydrated in the glorious sun and high temperatures of Leeds.
As a Christian organisation our team were on hand to chat, listen and pray with people and many took the opportunity to share issues and concerns. We also had our famous 'Jesus Loves Festivals' branding with many taking the opportunity for a selfie with Jesus! We also supported a 'Jesus Calls Will U Follow' banner plane which flew over most of the large events over the summer across the UK.
To see more of what Festival Angels get up to BBC Look North joined us at Leeds Festival - https://youtu.be/2--5d-e9P6c - or visit festivalangels.org.uk for pictures and reports.
Some feedback from festival-goers:
"My daughter was telling me how fantastic you are , so I thankyou for all you do , keep up the good work "
"@FestivalAngels got me through #leedsfestival2019 absolute legends"
"Love u festival angels you are best cuppa at any time of day or night thanks for giving up your time and being there"
"What fantastic people - they helped my daughters friends! Thanks and keep up the good work! Xxx"
"Thank you @FestivalAngels ....lost my phone at leedsfestival on friday night. Returned to me the next day with a full charge too..you guys rock"
"shoutout to @FestivalAngels for supplying the unlimited cafe, drinks n biscuits 24/7. so so appreciative for it n I think it’s so under appreciated. Honestly couldn’t of coped without"
And from our amazing Festival Angel volunteers:
"We've had an absolute blast. You are an amazing group of people and we are so proud to be part of Leeds Festival Angels. It was brilliant to meet up with so many old friends and also to make so many new friends this year. Here's to 2020 and hope to see you all again then."
"Thanks for the opportunity to work with such a bunch of amazing people! My first, and hopefully not last time doing this. A wonderful and rewarding experience. Thank you all "
"Thanks everybody for a great Leeds Festival once again. Sincerely hope to come back for year 6."
"Totally loved doing festival angels this year!! Helping so many young festival revellers have fun Thanks for having us "
Thanks to Inspire Magazine UK for including our BBC Look North feature on the website - www.inspiremagazine.org.uk
The website The Festivals has featured a blog on the story behind the ‘Jesus plane’ that’s been flying over festivals – and some of their best pics - see the article here.
Prayer, safety and support was provided to those in need, by church volunteers, at this year’s Leeds Festival.
Held at Bramham Park, Leeds Festival is one of the UK's major music festivals, this year attracting around 80, 000 people over the August Bank Holiday weekend to see headline artists such as Foo Fighters, Post Malone and Royal Blood.
One hundred and seventy volunteers, many from churches across our diocese, attended the four day event as Festival Angels.
Launched in 2011, the Festival Angels project has grown to become a valued part of the Leeds Festival organisation and this year included a prayer cafe, detached teams and a lost property service.
The prayer cafe provided a safe place at the festival site and included a mug deal with unlimited refills of tea and coffee throughout the weekend alongside areas for people to pray and discover more about the Christian faith.
The detached teams, based on the Street Angels model, wandered around the massive festival site interacting with the festival-goers offering help and assistance including help putting up tents, giving out sun tan lotion, and helping people navigate the site.
The Festival Angels also ran the lost property service at the festival, using social media platforms to help reunite people with their lost items such as passports, driving licenses, mobile phones, wallets/purses, car keys and bank cards.
“Festival Angels reaches out to the 16-30 age range, who are the least likely to attend church, and shows them that Christianity is just as relevant to them as to their parents and grandparents,” said Revd Andy Nicholson, coordinator of Festival Angels and vicar in Thorner, the nearest village to the festival site.
“As Christians from across the North of England we hope to show that Jesus Loves Festivals and through joining in the fun and life of the festival we aim to help break down some of the misconceptions people, especially young people, have of the church and Christian faith.
“It was a privilege to be able to serve some of the 80,000 people who become part of our neighbourhood for that weekend."
More information is about Festival Angels can be found on their website, with updates and pictures from the weekend also posted on their Facebook and Twitter pages.