Watchet Music Festival Prayer Tent 2019

Watchet Music Festival was back for its twelfth annual event at the end of August and the weather was glorious! Over 8,000 people attended over the weekend with acts such as The Lightning Seeds, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Hot Chocolate performing on the mainstage.

Alongside the music, traders and entertainments, the local churches team were also back hosting the Prayer Tent. This year the focus was the sea (which can be seen from the festival site) and as well as exploring the wonder of the oceans through artwork and a giant wave installation, there was also an opportunity to consider our own impact on the ‘blue planet’. The tent was open til 1am throughout the weekend and was visited by a steady stream of people of all ages. Some stopped to chat or debate, some shared their life story. Groups of teenagers found it ‘peaceful’ and families with young children turned plastic bottles into amazing sea creatures.

Worship and prayer played a key part in the weekend with the Prayer Tent team gathering for prayer every 3 hours and on Sunday morning leading the Festival Service in the ‘Udder Stage’ big top. Worship was led by a band made up of young people from the local churches with Rev Clive Gilbert, Vicar of Watchet & Williton, bringing a message of hope in troubled times and Mike Sherburn, Watchet Baptist Pastor leading prayers for ourselves and our world.

Go Team Adviser and partner of Watchet Baptist Church, Andy Levett, who helped lead the team commented: “An amazing weekend on top of the hill! So many conversations, highlights and stories to share and such a privilege to be involved in the festival in this way.”

“This year we were billed in the programme and even on the t-shirt as ‘We Are The Church’ which probably says it all. Great to be a part of bringing churches together to pray and serve this amazing local event.”

This poem was written for the Festival Service by university student Lucy Sherburn who was part of the Watchet Baptist Church team.

“The taste of salt crashes in
Wave after wave after wave
Covering the sand in great amounts
Before taking pebbles and rubbish away

It chokes on the mounds of plastic
That we have flippantly thrown in
And inadvertently poisons its inhabitants
So that all of sea life grieves

A hike up the hill from the shoreline
You'll reach where we meet today
Where we fight for God's creation
Attempting to keep this pollution at bay

And while the festival lights are delighting
They do not compare to the sun on the sea
And while the pounding bass seems to sync with our hearts
By the crashing waves is where I long to be

Today we pray for your hand on the festival
The sound, the lights, the fun
But we also pray for your creation
And it's protection when the partying's done."

(Lucy Sherburn, August 2019)