Next up in our series meeting some of the people behind the Catalyst Festival is Adrian Hurst, who heads up the zones and the fringe. 


Hi Adrian – tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m married to an amazing woman called Lucy who is a full time English teacher, and we have 3 fantastic children – Emily, Sam and Rebekah. I have the privilege of leading Oasis Church Birmingham and therefore get to live in probably the best city in the world! I am passionate about using what I have to make a difference in the world around me and to encourage others to do the same.


You’re responsible for the zones at the Catalyst Festival – what are they and why are they so important to the event?

In short why the zones are so important is because they facilitate all the Festival is about – connecting, encountering and mission.

They’re a celebration of who we are and who we can be; all about conversations not seminars; and all about mission. That’s mission defined in the broadest sense by David Devenish, whose greatest desire is that the Festival will be a catalyst for mission. I’ve come across a great quote from Charles Van Engen that sums up this desire – “God’s mission (missio Dei) involves primarily the People of God as they intentionally cross barriers from church to non-church, faith to non-faith, to proclaim by word and deed the coming of the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ; this task is achieved by means of the Church’s participation in God’s mission of reconciling people to God, to themselves, to each other, and to the world, and gathering them into the Church through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ by the work of the Holy Spirit with a view to the transformation of the world as a sign of the coming Kingdom in Jesus Christ.” 


Nice quote! Anyone who came last year will have seen the ‘tent village’ in the main hall – why are the zones in marquees and all in the same place?

The marquees give a festival feel, and having them all together has loads of advantages – it shows all the activities are of equal value, it helps us to celebrate diversity, and it combats individualism by letting people hear and see the other things going on.


What were some of your highlights from the zones last year?

I had loads of personal highlights from last year. For me the highlights always come in individual stories whether it is the guy who arrived at the festival thinking there was no real purpose in him teaching and wanting to leave, attending the Everything Zone and realising teaching is exactly where God wants him to be and leaving the festival understanding teaching is his mission. Or the number of individuals I got to speak to through the Sputnik Zone (our creative arena) who shared how they always felt like they didn’t fit within church and through the Festival found they do fit and knew the part they had to play. I could go on but that will do for now…


And what are you looking forward to most at this year’s Festival?

The stories that will be shared as result of what God does at the Festival that impacts who we are and what we do in the world beyond the four days we’re together.

By Karen Kircher

Karen Kircher

Since leaving the water industry in 2000, Karen has enjoyed working as a consultant in the areas of leadership and organisational development, establishing Leading Leaders in 2007.