Forget Glastonbury: Hello Holme Valley Festival of Faith



FORGET Glastonbury festival this weekend and say hello to the Holme Valley festival of faith which borrows from popular culture to offer something for everyone – including a Comedy evening, a heavenly bake-off,  Mr and Mrs quiz night, sports, conversation, questions for God and their own specially brewed festival beer.

Bakers are asked to create a cake inspired by their vision of heaven for the Heavenly Bake- Off inspired by the popular reality television show, while other events include cricket, rounders, a film screening, and a Mr and Mrs quiz evening for all those who married over the last 12 months. There are walks, discussions, poetry and pints, and a comedy evening with author/comedian Andy Kind - part of the new wave of clean comedians.

The first Holme Valley Festival of Faith takes place between Friday 26 June and Saturday 4 July, with a host of 23 different events designed to give a flavour of the breadth and diversity of the Christian faith in the local community and is open to all – those of faith and no faith.

Organised by the seven Anglican churches that make up the Upper Holme Valley team, the team were inspired by the wealth of festivals already rooted in that part of Yorkshire and borrowed from popular culture to design something to promote both the Christian faith and the richness of their local community through arts, comedy, sport and worship.

Local micro-brewery Nook has brewed a special festival beer which will be revealed (and enjoyed) after the festival launch service at Holmfirth Parish Church at 7.30pm on Friday 26 June led by the Bishop of Huddersfield, the Rt Revd Jonathan Gibbs – himself a card carrying member of CAMRA.

The Upper Holme Valley team rector, the Revd Canon Sean Robertshaw said: “This area is rich in the culture of festival and so we borrowed from that to try and reach out, to promote our faith in the broadest, most inclusive way, and to try and create something for everyone.”

“We hope people will come and ask questions, we want them to come and enjoy themselves and we aim to explore faith and faith issues together,” he added.

Bishop Jonathan said: "I am really excited about this festival. It's a brilliant series of events, it's imaginative and a really creative way to engage with our communities and our congregations and that's what we're here for; to impact on our communities and grow our churches. Wonderful, I can't wait to launch it."

FIND OUT MORE at the festival website:

The initiative grew out of the Leading Your Church into Growth workshops attended by the Upper Holme Valley over two years ago. They then worked in a dedicated way with Bob Jackson and held a team conference over 18 months ago to gear for an attempt at something more challenging and ambitious. The team have also worked with first year students in training for ordination at Mirfield College of the Resurrection who will play a key role in the festival by being on hand to talk about their faith and how they are being formed for ministry in the 21st century. Nationally renowned author and well known Greenbelter Paul Cookson is also joining the Team to work in the local schools and is hosting a ‘Family Twist’ style event at Holmfirth Parish Church on Fri 3 July 7pm, which is guaranteed to be good fun, it is a free event.

Said Sean: “We have worked on the principle that if you lift Jesus up, then people are just about inquisitive enough to come and have a look. This is more than just presence; it is about proclaiming our Christian faith in the broadest possible way. “It’s been challenging, because we all bring different styles of ministry, theology and ideas about mission. This has been one of the invigorating and empowering things for all of us and our congregations, we perhaps feel more confident about our faith. “We truly hope this is the start of something new,” he added.


The Festival Prayer

Gracious God, you call us to be the Church of Jesus Christ in the Holme Valley.

Keep us one in faith and service as we share the Good News of your love. Amen.


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