The night before Greenbelt started we arrived late into Cheltenham and decided to find a place to eat. We ended up wandering until we found ourselves next to the majestic and mysterious Gloucester Cathedral. Gloucester Cathedral is nearly 1,000 years old and has been a place of continuous worship. It is the burial place of King Edward II (the effiminate Prince of Wales, son of King Edward I depicted in the movie Braveheart) which made it a place of pilgrimage and provided the resources to build something magnificient. The Gloucester Cathedral was used to film the first, second and sixth Harry Potter movies.
We found the door of the Cathedral unlocked. It was 9:00 pm but we couldn't resist venturing inside. Jessica and Vicki were freaked out assuming that we were tresspassing and would probably be arrested. We could hear some kind of gathering going on somewhere in the vast spaces of the cathedral caverns. We spent more than half an hour exploring the amazing art, scultptures, tombs, memorials and chapels. King Edward II's tomb was and is a masterpiece.
We also found several contemporary prayer stations scattered throughout the cathedral. I made a comment that it appeared that Jonny Baker had been there. As we begin to wrap up our short clandestine tour of the cathedral we passed by another wandering pilgrim. I asked him what was going on with what sounded like a social event somewhere in the cathedral. He responded that it was a gathering of young church leaders from the UK. I started asking if certain people were in attendance and soon I was hugging Jonny Baker and other's gathered for a pre-Greenbelt party. I heard someone say "hey Mike." It was Jon Meyers, former youth pastor in Kansas City who now lives in Seattle. We were invited to join in the shenanigans and soon we were part of a small group who were given access to climb the famous Towers of the Gloucester Cathedral. Wow, what an experience and what a great start to the Greenbelt Festival experience.