'Good afternoon Glastonbury!' Bishop Michael addresses festival crowd

30th June 2024

“It was an absolute pleasure to attend the Glastonbury Festival on Sunday. It was wonderful - albeit a bit terrifying - to welcome the Pyramid Stage crowd to God’s own county of Somerset, to share the Gospel with them. And I was very touched by the number of people who came up to me afterwards who took the time to say how great it was to see me there, to hear what I had to say - we had some great conversations."

Bishop Michael asked the crowd at Glastonbury Festival to contemplate a different reality when he took to the Pyramid Stage at 3pm on Sunday, 30 July.

You can read what Bishop Michael said to the festival crowd below.

Bishop Michael looks out at the crowd at Glastonbury Festival  Bishop Michael on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival Bishop Michael arrives at the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival

Bishop Michael's address to Glastonbury Festival

It's brilliant to be able to welcome you to God's own county of Somerset. We're so glad you're here at the festival and I hope you're having a wonderful time.

I live just down the road from here in Wells, which is the smallest city in England. Normally, because we're in Cheddar Cheese Country, this place is full of cows. But during this festival weekend, the number of people here is about 20 times the population of my entire city. 

This leaves me feeling that I've entered into a different reality, And I wonder, wherever you've come from, if that's your experience of Glastonbury too? And by this I don't just mean how you feel about the state of the loos! But rather of what it's meant to you on being here to live life to a different beat, to experience a time of different priorities, to live in a reality that's very different to everyday existence. 

You're probably thinking that anyone who's a bishop must spend their days living in a different reality most of the time. And you might well be right. 

Because that, for me, is what faith is all about. Of seeing the world from a different perspective. 

A different vantage point. 

The Bible has lots of stories that illustrate this. One of my favourites comes from the first part of the Bible that Christians call the Old Testament. It tells about a prophet called Elisha and his servant, getting surrounded by the forces of a hostile army. The servant gets very upset. He sees that he and his master are heavily outnumbered. He reckons that their prospects are not good. 

But then Elisha says to him. 'You're not seeing the whole of reality. And then Elisha prays that the servant's eyes will be fully opened. When they are he's able to see that the whole host of heaven is with him and his master - horses and chariots of fire. The help that's on hand is more than able to get them out of the fix they're in. 

I wonder how you're seeing things during this time that you've stepped out of everyday life into the very different reality that is Glastonbury? As you compare what it's like to be here with your existence back at home, what has being here said to you about what you value most? The kind of world you want to live in? The life you'd like to live? 

For me, as someone who tries, not always successfully, to follow Jesus Christ, I hope that the perspective I have on these things is shaped by his life, his love for this extraordinary planet that we've been given to live upon. In Jesus, I encounter someone who had 20:20 vision. He was able to see what was most important, to live it, and act upon it. Or as Jesus put it, to know life in all its fulness. 

If you've not encountered Jesus's life, might you like to find out more? We've great people in our church tent opposite here and just above the big camping ground. There to help you explore what I've found in Jesus: a bigger picture, a wider and better vision of what it might mean to be a human being and to live well in our world. I invite you to discover in him a different reality altogether."

Bishop Michael
Powered by Church Edit