What is Lentfest?
Lentfest is a community festival run by AGAP (the Archdiocese of Glasgow Arts Project) since 2007, to encourage reflection on faith ideas through the creative and performing arts during a season of renewal and reparation. It has attracted the support and participation of people from a variety of faith backgrounds, including those of no particular denomination...so wherever you are in your faith journey, you are welcome here!
When is Lentfest 2017?
Lentfest takes place during the liturgical season of Lent, which precedes Easter. Lent is from Ash Wednesday on 1st March and Easter is on 16th April.
Where do events take place?
Events take place across the geographical area which is served by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Glasgow. This area is divided into nine deaneries which, in addition to central Glasgow, include areas such as Cumbernauld in the East, Clydebank in the West, and Castlemilk in the South. Usually, these events take place in property owned by the Archdiocese (halls and churches) but there are sometimes events in secular venues too and in buildings owned by other religious denominations. Events usually take place at community level to ensure accessibility and affordability.
How do I book tickets for Lentfest?
Isn’t Lent a penitential season? Why have a festival?
It is true that Lent is a penitential season in the liturgical calendar and, in past generations, the Catholic Church discouraged the faithful from attending entertainment events during the season, in the interest of self-denial and spiritual discipline. Today, the Church continues to encourage spiritual discipline through prayer, fasting and almsgiving but the Gospel emphasises that these things should be “done in secret”. Lentfest should not be misconstrued as a vehicle which supplants the traditional practice of prayer, fasting and almsgiving but should be understood as a further way in which people can engage with the Christian faith through the arts. Thus, Lentfest engages with the joyful witness called for by Jesus in the Gospel, which is read on Ash Wednesday: “When you are fasting, do not put on a gloomy look as the hypocrites do: they go about looking unsightly to let people know they are fasting. In truth I tell you, they have had their reward.” (Matthew 6:16)
Furthermore, Lent is a time which is about people turning back to God. Lentfest aims to encourage people of all backgrounds and faith perspectives to take stock of their relationship with God and provides opportunities for reflection and rededication of our talents to the Creator. The Easter Triduum, which concludes the season of Lent, is the pinnacle of the Christian calendar and it is appropriate that we should invite as many as possible to have an awareness of this great feast by providing a programme which points towards it.
Is Lentfest suitable for non-Catholics and non-Christians?
There is no denying that the majority of the audience base for Lentfest is Roman Catholic. However, Lentfest is growing in popularity among Christians of other denominations and an increasing number of non-Catholics attend events. There is greater interest in participation by other churches. In the past, Lentfest has attracted performers from various faith backgrounds, including Islam, Judaism, Sikhism and Christians from various Protestant traditions, including Church of Scotland, Episcopalian, and independent evangelical churches. Events have been attended and enjoyed by people of no particular faith background and we aim to provide a quality programme of entertainment and events, albeit within the constraints of working at community level.
How do I propose an event for Lentfest?
Anyone is welcome to propose an event for Lentfest but it is helpful if they do so with a plan for its organisation. In other words, if you have a band or a choir or a group that would like to take part, you should approach the organisers with a suggested programme, with a note of your availability during the festival dates and having thought about who/what might be involved and how the event would fit with the ethos of Lentfest.