Legendary Indigenous singer/songwriter Archie Roach will journey to the Victorian coastal town of Queenscliff in May to take part in Sacrededge. The festival, which runs from 1 – 3 May, is organised by Queenscliff/Point Lonsdale UC as a weekend of sharing faith, stories, entertainment and discussion about issues important to contemporary society.
Rev Kerrie Lingham – one of the organisers of Sacrededge – has shared a ministry placement with Rev Charles Gallacher in Queenscliff/Point Lonsdale for the past 16 years. She said organisers are thrilled that Mr Roach has agreed to attend.
“To attract a guest of his calibre shows the importance and relevance of the issues we are exploring,” Ms Lingham said.
Now in its second year, the idea for Sacrededge was born around a dinner table with friends.
“Some of us reflected on our experience of the Greenbelt Festival in the UK – a huge Arts and Justice Festival. We dreamt of holding a small, open minded and open hearted festival in Queenscliff. Not to debate issues, but just to get people together in a safe environment and listen to each other.”
Approximately 12 months later, in 2014, the first Sacrededge Festival was held.
Ms Lingham describes the three-day festival as an opportunity to share stories in a respectful, welcoming atmosphere.
“It offers a relational approach to diversity,” Ms Lingham said. “Rather than debating issues we consider other’s perspectives as they share personal stories with us.”
Last year more than 150 people from all walks of life took part in the festival. As Ms Lingham explained, they were not only exposed to people from different sectors of the community, some were also challenged on their perception of church.
“It is not uncommon for the wider community to have the church pigeon-holed as a narrow, non-inclusive institution, focused on telling others what they should believe – that we are right and others are wrong,” Ms Lingham said.
“We hope to offer a different experience – that out of our choice to follow Jesus, we are called to be a listening community, supportive of those on the edge. And, that we can be a supportive community of faith to belong to. The themes of the festival reflect the core values promoted by the Queenscliff/Point Lonsdale church community.”
Participants this year include people from the LGBTI, refugee and Indigenous communities. Activities will include lectures and presentations, interactive workshops and art spaces, dance, poetry, music and stories.