Angelic help for festival goers in Leeds

Prayer, safety and support was provided to those in need, by church volunteers, at this year’s Leeds Festival. 

Held at Bramham Park, Leeds Festival is one of the UK's major music festivals, this year attracting around 80, 000 people over the August Bank Holiday weekend to see headline artists such as Foo Fighters, Post Malone and Royal Blood.  

170 volunteers, many from churches across our diocese, attended the four day event as Festival Angels. 

Launched in 2011, the Festival Angels project has grown to become a valued part of the Leeds Festival organisation and this year included a prayer cafe, detached teams and a lost property service. 

The prayer cafe provided a safe place at the festival site and included a mug deal with unlimited refills of tea and coffee throughout the weekend alongside areas for people to pray and discover more about the Christian faith.

The detached teams, based on the Street Angels model, wandered around the massive festival site interacting with the festival-goers offering help and assistance including help putting up tents, giving out sun tan lotion, and helping people navigate the site. 

The Festival Angels also ran the lost property service at the festival, using social media platforms to help reunite people with their lost items such as passports, driving licenses, mobile phones, wallets/purses, car keys and bank cards.

“Festival Angels reaches out to the 16-30 age range, who are the least likely to attend church, and shows them that Christianity is just as relevant to them as to their parents and grandparents,” said Revd Andy Nicholson, coordinator of Festival Angels and vicar in Thorner, the nearest village to the festival site. 

“As Christians from across the North of England we hope to show that Jesus Loves Festivals and through joining in the fun and life of the festival we aim to help break down some of the misconceptions people, especially young people, have of the church and Christian faith. 

“It was a privilege to be able to serve some of the 80,000 people who become part of our neighbourhood for that weekend."

More information is about Festival Angels can be found on their website, with updates and pictures from the weekend also posted on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

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