Aoradh at Greenbelt- Eternal Now installation…


So I thought I would post a few photographs that Simon Mcgaughey took of our worship event @ Greenbelt festival.

We were one of the groups contributing to the worship in the New Forms Cafe, which is the venue for alternative worship events- the place where people can experience more experimental ways of communal worship- and perhaps pinch ideas and recycle them back into their own community. In truth, there is nothing new under the sun, and most of the events use ideas borrowed from other groups, or from more ancient practices, updated with the odd power point projection and a bit of ambient music.

Our event was something like this;

Our contribution was an installation called ‘The Eternal Now’, which was a kind of walk through time. We had stations representing the universal time, geological time, historical time, life time, NOW and the future.

People walked on white paper, and carried a pen on a stick that they dragged behind them in order to leave their own time line. The route was marked by ‘luminaires’- fire proof bags with sand in the bottom and a candle.

On projectors all around the room, we used a time lapse video that we were able to use by kind permission of John Martineau- check out his stuff here.

STATION ONE, STARS- Gazebo with muslin walls, fairy lights, stats hanging from ceiling, images from hubble telescope on laptop.

STATION TWO, ROCKS- Pile of stones, people asked to take one.

STATION THREE, TREE- Large slice of tree with tree rings showing. People asked to place pin around the tree ring corresponding to the year of their birth. Also asked to take a small slice of branch.

STATION FOUR, COLLAGE- Table with lots of art and paper- asked to leave a mark that relates to their own lifetime- what they are grateful for, who has brought them to where they are now.

HOLY SPACE, NOW- Another gazebo, with musiln sides, cushions and eternal flame. Poetry projected on an internal wall.

FUTURE- (Corresponding responses to earlier stations- in reverse order.)

COLLAGE/LIFETIME- postcard to remind yourself- we used words that had been offered as cues in a ‘Wordle’ image made into a postcard. People were invited to write on it, and we will post it on to them as a later reminder…

TREE/HISTORICAL TIME- people were asked to write a promise on their small slice of tree and either leave it behind, or take it with them. They were also asked to take a pine cone- as a reminder of being a carrier of seeds of the Kingdom of God.

ROCKS/GEOLOGICAL TIME- people built a cairn with the rocks they carried.

STARS/UNIVERSAL TIME- people were offered a shortbread star to eat as they left.

It worked really well!

You have one hour to set up the room, it runs for an hour, then you get out as soon as you can to leave room for the next group. When the doors opened we had a massive queue of people waiting to use the installation, and we all felt overwhelmed. There was a bit of ‘bunching’ around some of the stations, before people decided to sit out a little and wait their time.

Feedback was good, and the whole thing looked lovely.

Our intention is to use the installation in Dunoon too…

In the next few weeks we will meet up to chew on whether the effort and expense of the road trip was worth it, and what we can learn and reapply to our own context. But on a basic level, it feels that we achieved what we set out to do.

If you were there, feedback very much appreciated!