By Rev Hannah Bucke
Bradwell-on-Sea during the the first weekend in July will take on a different flavour this year as a new festival comes to the village. The Bradwell Festival will build on the legacy of the Bradwell Pilgrimage, starting with the pilgrimage itself. This year there will be two routes to choose from: the traditional walk through Bradwell village, starting from St Thomas’ Church, and a new costal route beginning at The Green Man pub on the marina, and taking in the unique landscape of the Blackwater Estuary.
Once at the festival site, which will incorporate St Peter’s Chapel as well as the home of the Othona Community, festival-goers will be able to enjoy a variety of worship, activities, food and drink throughout the day and evening. Worship will take place outside St Peter’s Chapel as people arrive and the Northumbria Community will be leading the Daily Office in the Chapel over the course of the weekend. Stallholders and representatives from charities and campaign groups will have a new home in the Othona gardens.
Speakers at the event include Dave Walker, cartoonist from the Church Times, Leigh-on-Sea author Jane Dolby, whose book ‘Song of the Sea’ tells the story of how she rebuilt her life and formed The Fishwives Choir after her fisherman husband was tragically lost at sea. Also speaking at the event will be the Rt. Revd. Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford.
Festival-goers will be able to enjoy a wide range of music at both the Performance Cafe on the Othona site and on the Main Stage in the Chapel Field. The musical line up currently includes vintage Jazz trio The Daisy Bowlers, and Christian singer/songwriter and social justice campaigner Andy Flannagan. More artists will be added to the lineup in the coming weeks.
For those wishing to make a weekend of it, camping will be offered onsite. The opportunity to see the sunrise over this stunning landscape will undoubtedly be a real highlight for anyone staying overnight. For more information about the Bradwell Festival and for updates on the line-up, visit bradwellfestival.com.[this article first appeared in ‘The Month’]