Greenbelt, one of Britain’s largest and most controversial Christian festivals, has announced the appointment of Paul Northup as its new director. Northup is currently head of content for the festival.
Greenbelt attracts around 20,000 people to Cheltenham every year for a weekend of arts, music, discussion, debate, politics and worship. The festival is known for combining an open-minded approach to faith with a commitment to social justice and a willingness to engage with challenging and difficult questions.
Northup said he was “thrilled” to become Greenbelt’s director.
“It brings together art, faith and justice in such exciting and vibrant ways,” he explained, “ Greenbelt has a rich 38-year history, and I look forward to developing the vision of the organisation in the years to come.”
Northup has been involved in Greenbelt over many years: as a musician, in various volunteer roles – including serving as a trustee – and as a staff member. He lives in Cheltenham with his family, where the festival has been based since 1999.
"This is a very exciting appointment,” said Andy Turner, who is chair of Greenbelt, “Paul knows Greenbelt inside out, and can see all its potential and possibilities. He has a compelling vision of the festival, and brings together an exceptional combination of experience, skills and ideas that will take Greenbelt forward."
This year's festival takes place at Cheltenham Racecourse over August Bank Holiday Weekend (26 - 29 August 2011). The programme includes Christian speaker Rob Bell, the comedian and activist Mark Thomas and the singer Billy Bragg.
Northup will take up his appointment in the autumn. He said, “I can’t wait to get started.”