if it’s saturday, this must be belfast

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a rare moment of space in a pretty frenetic trip… we’re in belfast for the weekend and the rest of the group have gone on a tour to see murals. i’m catching up with friends instead.

it’s been a fabulous trip. Greenbelt was absolutely wonderful. I saw much less of it this year than previously, so that was a bit weird. Due to some illness in the group i didn’t get any further than the food tents for the first 36 hours, but i did get to know the inside of Cheltenham hospital pretty intimately. The last 36 hours of greenbelt were, however, absolutely brilliant. highlights were Coldcut on the saturday night, Duke Special on the Sunday night [simply wonderful], Peterson Toscano, the Ikon worship, Grace’s communion by numbers, and late nights at the beer tent with people who are now old friends and the very best of company.

The group loved it. Greenbelt is an embarrassment of riches – for many of the group, the diversity on offer was enough, even before going to anything. We’re definitely bringing another group over again next year… start planning if you’re interested. people on this trip have found it even more worthwhile than i imagined.

we’ve been travelling since greenbelt on a whirlwind tour of various communities. i’m so grateful and humbled by the generosity and hospitality people have shown us since we’ve arrived. i have to swallow my pride a little because i know that we probably won’t have the chance to reciprocate the hospitality, and it’s much easier to offer it than receive it…

we spent the first couple of days, post-greenbelt, in telford with Mark Berry’s community. i’ll reflect in more detail when my head’s clearer, but i was really, really impressed by how things are unfolding there. And the thursday night gathering that we were welcomed into was quite beautiful.

and now we’re in belfast. it’s been a big 24 hours here… spent the afternoon yesterday with Pete, Cazi, Jayne and Ricky… last night at the pub with a stack of Ikon-ers… today just catching up with people… tomorrow we’re off to manchester to spend some time with the Sanctus people, and then Monday it’s back to London to wrap things up.

it’s been exhausting but exhilarating. i had no idea it would be quite this much work to make a group trip like this work… but i also had no idea it would be such a rich experience. how lucky we are…

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