Have you ever heard of MotoFest? If not, Motofest is a free motorsport festival that takes place across the city of Coventry, including a 1.5 mile motorsport circuit, live music, heritage displays and of course food. Welcoming 125,000 people to the event in 2016 and over 1000 motors, you may not have known that this was started on the back of an idea from James Noble, a leader at Jubilee Church in Coventry.
“I left my career in the motor industry to join the staff team at Jubilee just over 5 years ago. I knew I had been involved in demonstrating and advancing God’s Kingdom in my previous employment and to be honest was a little concerned that my move to working for the church would actually limit the opportunities for this. Early on in my church employment I heard about an initiative that was starting in the city called Coventry Champions, who’s aim was to bring together Business and Community Leaders to make Coventry a more vibrant place to live, work and do business in. Andrew Simpkins (who leads the eldership team here) and I decided to get involved in this, which lead to my idea for MotoFest and provided the early introductions to the council that made what was frankly a bonkers idea actually happen!”
How is Jubilee Church Coventry involved in Motofest?
Jubilee Church Coventry has been behind Coventry MotoFest from the start. The church community as a whole has embraced the event and gets involved in many ways, from praying that Coventry is blessed through MotoFest, to many individuals giving up their time to make it happen. The MotoFest core team is made up of a mixture of people from Jubilee Church, together with event and motorsport professionals. Not only does Jubilee Church release some of my paid time to lead this team but also is one of its sponsors.
Why is this something that you invest in so much as a church?
MotoFest is not purely evangelistic (although amazingly a number of people have become Christians and joined Jubilee through relationships started at MotoFest), it’s a celebration. In Jeremiah 29, the prophet also instructs God’s people to pray for the city and work for its prosperity. There have been times when Coventry has been an incredibly prosperous city but over the past few years the city leaders have sought to renew the city again. Following the redevelopment of parts of the city centre, the city council put out a call for large scale events to attract visitors into the city centre. MotoFest is Jubilee Church’s response to this call.
What have you got planned for MotoFest next year?
One of the most amazing things is the way that what we planned as a local event has in just three short years, become a mainstream part of the national motorsport event calendar. God has massively blessed the event and Coventry through it. I hope MotoFest will continue to grow and we will keep doing it as long as it actually benefits the city that we love.