Wickham Music Festival brought things to a whole new level. Led by David Moss the circuit had decided to have a presence at the festival by doing what they do inside church outside church. They took the hospitality, crafts, fine quality cakes and the belief in the importance of service that are part of their DNA, infused it with a large helping of open, Celtic spirituality, put it all in a tent and waited to see what the Holy Spirit would do with it. This was the toy box I was invited to come play in.
I got to run around, making pictures for people, having conversations and sharing God with a fascinating assortment of people and more importantly, people came to the tent. People came to the tent and stayed. It was lovely to see. The Elemental Tent became a welcoming community to a disparate group of parents and their kids, morris dancers, storytellers and other assorted festival goers who came for came for corn dolly making or to sit on a sofa and take a rest and stayed to talk about their lives, talk about God and spirituality and join Celtic Night Prayers at the end of each day. And these people came back, year on year, seeking us out.
Time moved on as it inexorably does, each year an invitation to join again arrived and each year I went. In the mean time other intriguing opportunities presented themselves as I started each day with the question “What shall we do today God?” A churches together event in Eastleigh, a prophetic café at a conference in Southampton, Faith Al Fresco in Bishops Waltham. All moving me in a direction I could not see.
2017 came around and early summer I took a dramatic fall off my bicycle, broke my elbow and found myself unable to drive, unable to draw and unable to attend the Wickham Festival. I was desperately disappointed. It had felt like it was to be a watershed year but each month seemed to make life more difficult, work hours cut, travel costs and time increasing, everything was a struggle. As tough as it was sometimes I clung desperately to Jesus and my hope in his plan for me.
Then he showed his plan and of course it was beyond my wildest hopes. He put me here in the Meon Valley.