Summer is here and the Wickham Music Festival (2nd – 5th August) has been in full swing. The Festival is a family friendly fun event in the glorious golden Hampshire countryside just outside Wickham. It’s listed by The Guardian as a top ‘Family Friendly Boutique Festival’.
There’s top class bands and thousands coming along to enjoy the sunshine, music and people-watch. Morris dancers, some with black faces, unusually dressed people and a very strange emu strutting about all added to the fun.
Local Methodist churches (inspired by Revd David Moss) took the initiative some years ago to have an Elemental Tent within the festival as a place where people could come for some rest & relaxation, a cuppa, a chat and some cake. If people wanted to discuss their faith, their anxieties or the meaning of life in a relaxed manner then this was the place to be. With its Celtic Christian outreach to the festival-goers the Elemental Tent is run by the Meon Valley Methodist Circuit churches; Waltham Chase, Shirrell Heath, Swanmore, Hambledon and Bishop’s Waltham.
The Elemental Tent takes its name from the four ancient elements (earth, fire, wind and water) – getting back to earlier times. This is the fifth year the churches have brought the Tent to the festival so it’s become a regular feature. We love meeting festival-goers and offer the chance for a chat or a quiet time. We have arts and crafts, give-aways and on the Sunday a harvest festival service too.
We all have worries and have to face difficulties, but we’ve all been given free choice. Sometimes we make good choices, sometimes maybe not-so-good. A chance to share thoughts with others may be helpful. That’s where we come in, to listen, to pray if you wish (you won’t begin to believe what this can achieve!), to find answers to life’s questions… big and small. So anyone feeling in need of a bit of rest mentally, spiritually or just got sore feet, can drop into the Tent and relax.
The Festival takes on a different feel at night and to match this every evening we install a labyrinth outside the Tent. You can follow this while you ponder the serious things in life, or not – after all, you have the choice!
Meanwhile bands perform in several venues inside the Festival with two big top tents hosting the leading performers. In previous years the line up has included James Blunt, Chas and Dave and 10cc with a host of other bands.
It’s strange but the sun always shines at Wickham Festival. This year it shone powerfully from morning till evening. People of all ages seem ready to smile, to chat, to befriend, to belong – but then isn’t that what we all want?