We all went to the Greenbelt festival last weekend and had a great time. Highlights for me were hearing Graham Kendrick singing – on our wedding anniversary – one of the songs we had in our wedding service; night prayer under the night sky, accompanied by a celtic harp; doing some Sacred Harp singing (beautiful!); the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club on Sunday night; and Fat and Frantic under the blazing sun on Monday lunchtime. I also enjoyed sitting in the Christian Aid tent drinking coffee and eating cake and chatting and then having another coffee.
I think my favourite thing was listening to Harry Bird and the Rubber Wellies. I sneaked away from the big communion service on Sunday morning (which, to be honest, I found a bit dull and ‘worthy’) to see Harry Bird & his great little band. They do a lot of audience participation, and it’s all great fun, with songs about subjects as diverse as disarmament, pirates, cycling and beard snoods. Some of the lyrics are very thoughtful. The song “Dirty Hands” moved me more than the proper worship had done, with the chorus: “There’s only one thing I want when my time on this earth ends: a pair of dirty hands, oh Lord, and a clean conscience”. It’s worth clicking on this link to see a video someone’s made to go with the song: Dirty Hands. If it doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you should check if there’s enough dirt under your nails. I love the idea that the cleanliness of my conscience is in inverse proportion to the cleanliness of my hands. I love the idea, but I’m not sure that the dirt is all in the right place.