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“Hardly anyone can ever find God because God is right at the end of your mind after all the background thoughts are gone.”
Maisie Satchwell-Hust

Thundersley Congregational Church

The Noise Arts Festival 2018

The Noise Arts Festival has been organised by Thundersley Congregational Church for the past 8 years and has grown out of a regular social action week called ‘The Noise’ initiated by Soul Survivor that we held each October.

We developed the idea into an arts festival, after inspiration from the Pentecost Festival in London with the idea of getting the Church into local venues and mixing intentionally with our local community. This enabled us to have more of a platform to share what we believe, the social action element has been spread throughout the year. The festival has developed into events that help us mingle with those outside of the Church.

Each year has grown with the idea being supported by local schools and businesses, each year we have managed to get more traders involved. We initiated an arts trail to get more traders involved which now has 19 traders hosting art work in their shops and as a result of the festival the Church has been invited onto the local traders committee to support them in event planning and fundraising.

Over the years we have tried a number of different events in a variety of venues, with the simple idea that people during the festival week would engage with the church in their everyday routine, so for example we host events in the local pubs and tea rooms, where those having their lunch may hear or become involved with a workshop or some performance. One prime example of this is the drumming workshop we host in a local pub, the session is always well attended, so the owners of the pub are happy, but it also creates quite a buzz in the pub, with those attending and those just in there by chance.

The reaction from the community has been positive, and has seen many people come into the fringes of the church through our various crowd building events, this has encouraged us to keep on going with what we do, and seeking to engage more community business whilst keeping the faith based element at the forefront of why we do the event.
As a Church we have one aspect of our vision to ‘create a community hub’ we believe the festival helps us to create that ideal. Thundersley is a strange location in between two larger communities of Basildon and Thundersley and is therefore not a go to destination rather a commuter town with a number of local shops, two junior schools and a number of pubs and can lose that sense of identity. The festival wants to create an identity for Thundersley and therefore puts the Church central to that.

The event relies on the church community for its creativity, we look for people to use their gifting’s and to serve at the various events, therefore the festival relies on the Church community to enable it to function, it needs volunteers, prayers and people to offer their talents and time in building, making and creating in the lead up to and during the festival.

Our goal through the festival is that people would come to know Jesus, and that the church would be an influence to the local community, and that it would be appreciated and known for its love of its community and those in it.

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