Archbishop of Canterbury concludes Greenbelt Festival 2004

The thirty-first annual Greenbelt Festival kicked off on 27th August, and attracted over 15,000 visitors from across the nation to Cheltenham Racecourse. (See related article Where to Go on Bank Holiday?)

Sunday 29th August, 15,500 people gathered to celebrate communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, who is also the Festival Patron.

The Archbishop gave thanks for the festival, saying it represented "part of my mental furniture, part of the non-standard Christianity that keeps you going."

Taking as an example from the book of Exodus and reflecting on the journey of the tribe of Israel, the Archbishop gave a speech related to the theme of the Festival - "Freedom Bound" and applied it to Christians today.

During the question and answer session, the Archbishop celebrated what he saw as the new expressions of Church and the emerging Church, which were greatly represented at the festival, as being some of the most promising and exciting things happening in the Church today, much of which "was growing month by month, not just year by year."