Dear God...
“The ocean is like God and raindrops are the religion. When they fall into the ocean they become one.”
Zoya Ahmed and Nurun Uddin

Ignition Gloucestershire

The Festival of Wonder 

The Stroud Festival of Wonder, was conceived in 2021 on the back of the pandemic, in response to a growing need for community support and a desire to respond to this community need. At a time when economic crisis, world conflict and skyrocketing cost of living were an increasing reality, this free family festival, was designed to give everyone a break, to step back and seek to reawaken and inspire a sense of wonder.

Now, upon completion of its second year, the festival continues to evolve into a significant community event, bringing churches and community together for the good of all.

The main attraction, the circus spectacular, Magnificat!, offered a fresh artistic interpretation of the Magnificat and the moment when Mary said ‘yes’ to the Angel Gabriel.  The circus show included acrobats, jugglers, a clown, a sand artist, an opera singer and the local vicar appearing as an astronaut to the music of Star Wars!

The show was written and directed by Andy Bewley, Assistant Director of Giffords Circus. Although based at St Laurence Church: the Stroud Centre for Peace & the Arts, the festival is very much intended for people of all faiths or none, designed with inclusivity at its core and a commitment to walk alongside and embrace all people on their spiritual journey. Festival Chaplains were on hand to chat to festival goers and exit cards invited everyone who came to Churches Together in Stroud Christmas events.

A new element this year was the addition of a Relaxed Performance of the circus spectacular, for those whose needs are special.  Tickets for this free performance were very quickly all taken up.

The five free circus spectaculars were further supported with an array of other activities and displays, a free café, face painting and children’s craft area, an under 5’s play area, quiet spaces – The Cave and The Wall of Wonder – and exuberate dance, musical and comedy performances, all inside St Laurence Church, making the church alive with a buzz of activities, thoughtful contemplation, laughter and excitement throughout the weekend.

For more information email: or connect on social media at @FOWStroud

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