05 July 2010
Christian venue ‘Elemental’ makes a difference at Glastonbury Festival
A Christian venue at the Glastonbury festival was packed throughout the weekend, with many non-Christian festival-goers amazed by the unique atmosphere there.
With a record number of more than 180,000 visitors to the renowned arts and music festival, the Elemental Christian venue - run by Elemental 2010 and Love Bristol - was busy throughout, as people came to experience God through music, art, prophecies, discussions, wellness programmes, and healings.
Katherine Maxwell-Cook, one of the volunteers at Elemental, says visitors had clearly felt God's presence and were amazed by the unique atmosphere in the tent.
She adds that "the work is exhausting, but well worth it." Since most of Glastonbury's visitors are open to spirituality, they welcome this different kind of approach to Christianity and respond positively to it. "We want to give people an experience of God rather than just telling them about him," explains Katherine. "Even if they have arguments against God, the experience can't be taken away from them."
Elemental intentionally leaves space for God to speak into people's lives. The campaign is a positive way of viewing mission in a natural way. The team agrees that they just "let God do his thing," which results in many amazing stories. Those who enter the tent can immediately feel God's tangible presence and open up to what he has to say to them. Over the five days of the festival, many individual prophecies were made and people started to put their trust in the Christian faith. Visitors took the opportunity to receive advice or engage in long campfire conversations with staff members that often reached into the morning hours.
Surrounded by music stages, celebrities, and hundreds of other tents, Elemental stands out as a place where people cannot only find music and art, but a place to rest and a team that really cares about their needs. One student describes it as a "chilled out atmosphere that allows a break from the busyness outside." Even Glastonbury realizes that "they got the vibe really good."
Outreaches like Elemental have become a growing movement in the UK. "Across the country, many people are beginning to experience God for the first time in a real, exciting and life changing way," says Katherine, who is planning on working with Elemental again.
The organization which is staffed by volunteers and funded by donations, will celebrate its 15th attendance at Glastonbury next year.