Ekklesia at Solas Festival: making change, and journeys of belief

By Press Office
June 23, 2017

Ekklesia will be actively involved in the annual Solas Festival in The Bield at Blackruthven, Perthshire from 23-25 June 2017. Director Simon Barrow is faciliating a panel session on change-making 'Getting Our Act Together' at lunchtime on the Saturday, and a workshop in the afternoon on 'Journeys With Our Passions and Beliefs'.

Solas is Scotland’s midsummer festival, and has been running since 2009. The all-age weekend-long celebration of music and the arts is designed to entertain, inspire and challenge.

The programme also makes space for challenging debate with activists, writers and thinkers from across the political, cultural and religious spectrum. Solas Festival offers a creative and entertaining programme for festival-goers of all ages in a safe environment. Ekklesia was first involved in 2015, having previously co-sponsored the Just Festival in Edinburgh for three years.

The theme at Solas this year revolves around a creative sense of 'home'. What does ‘home’ mean? How do we make and shape home, and learn to be at home with ourselves and others?

'Getting Our Act Together: Making Change' is at 1.30pm on Saturday 24th June. Tackling poverty and exclusion; peace-building; disabled rights; economic justice; gender violence – many of us are eager to get real change on such concerns onto the public agenda and into legislation. This involves building effective collaboration between citizens, campaigners, researchers, think-tanks and parliamentarians. How can we do this better, recognising different roles but helping people work together for good?

These issues will be explored in conversation by Eildh Whiteford, former MP and SNP Westminster Spokesperson for Social Justice, Work and Pensions; the Rev Sally Foster-Fulton, head of Christian Aid Scotland, Ross Greer, a Green MSP at Holyrood, and Ekklesia's Simon Barrow.

Then at 4pm Simon Barrow collaborates with Solas Festival stalwart Frank Strang on a workshop entitled 'Journeys with Our Passions and Beliefs'. This is an opportunity to explore what happened to that thing we believed in so strongly years ago, or where that newer sense of commitment or uncertainty came from.

Whatever it is we have come to believe in – fighting against hunger; religious faith; humanism; opposition to nukes; political change, or mindfulness – we will find ways to discuss what has changed over time. By listening to ourselves and each other, we can make more sense of how we got to where we are – and where we want to go next.

On Sunday morning, from 11am, Ekklesia Director Simon Barrow will also be a BBC Radio Scotland live panelist with Ricky Ross and others on the main stage.

* Full details of the Solas Festival can be found here: http://www.solasfestival.co.uk/

Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of Ekklesia, the article may reflect Ekklesia's values. If you use Ekklesia's news briefings please consider making a donation to sponsor Ekklesia's work here.