Prayer Tent @ Watchet Music Festival

After a 'fallow' year, Watchet Music Festival returned again in August 2018. And once again, Watchet Baptist Church alongside other Christians from the town hosted the Festival's Prayer Tent - an amazing opportunity to be a Christian prayerful presence in the heart of the busy festival programme. Here's a short video with some of the highlights from the 2018 Festival Prayer Tent...

Read about some of the things the Prayer Tent team got up to below...

Over the August bank holiday weekend a team representing the local churches in Watchet & Williton were hosting the Prayer Tent at Watchet Music Festival. The Prayer Tent has become a regular venue at the locally run festival which was back for its eleventh year and saw bands such as Reef, Scouting for Girls, Cast and Melanie C take to the stage alongside a wide range of other acts and entertainment for a sell-out crowd of 4,000 people.

Andy Levett, Go Team Adviser for the Diocese picks up the story of the Prayer Tent at Watchet: “We live just down the hill from the festival site and the Prayer Tent is something we’ve had the privilege of being part of since the beginning. Eight years ago the festival organisers invited the then Vicar and Baptist minister to come and host a Prayer Tent to add something spiritual to the festival, and they jumped at the chance! Things have grown year on year with the festival and the Prayer Tent team have certainly grown into their role too – you could call it festival chaplaincy I suppose.”

The Prayer Tent venue this year was themed around ‘Wisdom’ picking up on Proverbs chapters 3 & 4. The 8 metre square marquee near to the ‘Udder Stage’ and main camping field had a simple labyrinth marked out on the floor for festival goers to journey through plus 4 large canvases painted by local Christian artists on the wisdom theme. Outside there was a large chalk board posing the question ‘what is wisdom?’ and a set of scales inviting passers-by to tie a ribbon and pray for justice.

“Our two aims as a team are to pray at the festival and to provide a space for others to pray, reflect, encounter God.” said Andy “It’s always great to have a variety of ages and backgrounds in a team like this, and over the weekend we become very much part of the festival community. Opening the Prayer Tent from 7am until 1am means we get a whole range of visitors including lots of young people, checking out the space and chatting to the team.”

This year’s Prayer Tent team was made up of 10 people from local churches and included the Baptist and Methodist minister as well as two 17 year olds – one of whom penned a poem about the festival for the Sunday morning service. The team gathered to pray morning, midday, evening and midnight prayers, and on Sunday morning congregations from nearby St Decumans Church, Watchet Baptists & Methodists and St Peter’s Williton came together with festival goers for a Festival Family Service in the Udder Stage big top.

New for the festival this year too was a link with the Quantock Foodbank which goes live this autumn and is being set up and run by church volunteers in Watchet and Williton. Campers were invited to leave any unused tins, jars and packets in plastic containers at the exits. On Monday morning as the sight cleared the boxes were overflowing with foodbank donations!