Bishop Nick says, "Don't go to the seaside"!

Bishop Nick spoke at the Kirkstall Festival on Saturday - probably the largest community festival in Leeds, attracting around 25,000 people.

The reading for the service (read by Rachel Reeves MP) was from Revelation 21: "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea".

Bishop Nick said, "It's a  surprising reading perhaps, given that the theme of this festival is the seaside, but the sea here is an image for turbulence; the threatening stuff that will be taken away. It's about the holy city coming to earth, God coming to us. And it's not just a picture of the future, it's about God being among us now.

"Jesus Christ comes among us where we are, and so we can never say to him, 'But you don't know what it's like'. And God often comes to where the pain is most acute - the metaphorical city - so if we're grasped by that same hope, that's what Christians need to do too. God says, get stuck in, stay in the city, don't escape to the metaphorical seaside - and then we'll begin to see the world transformed bit by bit."

Run entirely by volunteers, the festival take place in the picturesque grounds of the 12th century Kirkstall Abbey. It’s an event for all ages and includes a fairground, comedy, 160 stalls, tea dance, birds of prey, lots of music - and an open air church service with music lead by Leeds Central Salvation Army Band.



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