The Festival of Wonder returns to Stroud next month, running from November 17-19th, and organisers are appealing to the community to help raise funds.
The event, held at St Laurence Church, offers an array of free circus, dance and music performances all designed to explore and inspire wonder. Most events and activities are free to attend and open to all ages. This year’s festival will again explore the power, mystery, and magic of wonder through circus performance, comedy, children’s activities, exhibitions, and reflective space along with food, warmth and community.
A crowdfunding campaign is underway, and so far £2,000 of the £11,000 target has been reached. Phil Coysh from the organising team explains: “We want to provide acts that not only provide world class entertainment but speak to our vision of reawakening wonder and our values of being inclusive, intergenerational and free to all.
“However. as with all festivals, this year our costs have dramatically increased and we can only achieve our aims for 2023 if the community comes together to support, both in terms of finance and also volunteering. So we are appealing to individuals, community groups, councils, churches, businesses, councils and funders to work together to make this amazing free festival happen.”
Simon Howell, Priest at St Laurence: The Stroud Centre for Peace and the Arts adds: “On behalf of all at St Laurence I again welcome the Stroud valleys community to our Festival Church, so named for the succession of our community-based festivals such as the Christmas Tree Festival, the Stroud Sacred Music Festival, Hidden Notes Festival, the SHIFT Art & Mental Health Youth Festival and of course this Festival of Wonder.”
Andy Bewley, Associate Director of Giffords Circus and Writer and Director of the Festival’s centrepiece circus performance, Magnificat!, says: “We are thrilled to have a number of very exciting and unique acts in this years’ exploration of the magic of wonder.
“Artists include an amazing sand artist flying in from Cyprus to share an extraordinary act so rarely seen in this country, and circus legend Gordon Marquez, seen at Giffords in 2022 and one of the world’s great jugglers with such a thrilling and daring act. This is a show that redesigns how people view churches and brings together people of faith and no faith to appreciate a common and universal love, welcoming all into the conversation and the community.”
Donations can be made at https://festivalofwonder.org