Gloucester Diocese is an active member of the multi-agency movement, FestivALL. As a partnership, we are working together to break down barriers in our communities across ethnicity, faith, ability, sexual orientation, class, age and gender and create opportunities for us all to discover more about the people, wildlife, places, and organisations in our area. FestivALL is all about coming together, talking, sharing and celebrating – but most of all, having fun.
Each partner organisation is free to work in the way that suits their core ethos, recognising the wide overlap between many of our values and concerns, and the advantages of working together when possible. There is an opportunity here for churches to take advantage of the regional network in order to develop local partnerships, deepen community engagement and work for the wellbeing of our communities.
In 2019, we have chosen July as FestivALL month, the most popular when all the agencies who are part of the movement were consulted. The plan for this month includes:
- Local events: small, large and everything in between
- A month of acts of community kindness
- Profile raising through the media, in the general area of communities and neighbourhoods that include everyone, as well as FestivALL in particular.
This follows 2018’s FestivALL month, which ran from mid-May to mid-June and launched with high profile events at the Cathedral. The launch events were followed by a huge variety of local events, with churches involved as significant partners in many instances. The month’s programme included a community arts festival; several village fetes; a mental health learning day; an open day at Star College; a riding for the disabled ‘fun afternoon’; a moth morning at a local nature reserve; a wellbeing workshop, and many more. Coverage of FestivALL 2018 by SoGlos is here.
As last year, in 2019 we are inviting all our worshipping communities to be involved with this wonderful opportunity to build new relationships and strengthen current networks by organising events, big or small, which bring people together. In addition this year, churches may like to get involved in the month of daily acts of community kindness.
Events on offer can be something already planned in your 2019 calendar that fits the FestivALL ethos, using the branding and publicity to give it some extra energy. It can be a small event, like a community picnic, or a coffee morning, taking minimal resources. Or something as big as a community fete, where several organisations come together to contribute time and finances to reach as many people as possible. The only thing we ask is that at every event, everybody is made to feel welcome.
This year we have a particular focus on intergenerational invitations and have worked on some guidelines with Age UK. The value of intergenerational working has been much in the media, the general idea being a simple mixing up of the age groups: the elderly visiting a toddler group; residents of a care home invited to the dress rehearsal of a school production; a coffee morning opened up from the usual older clientele to invite parents and pre-schoolers to join them; a group of children singing in a residential care home. Some guidelines on intergenerational invitations are on this link: FestivALL 2019 intergenerational.
Contact Cate Williams to find out more.
Working with Children and Families
Contact Specialist advisors via Mission & Ministry
Looking at Parish Mission Action Plans
Pioneering & Fresh Expressions