Sunday 18 June saw the second annual Festival of Peace at Sidcot School. Hosted by the school’s Centre for Peace and Global Studies the festival explored the theme: ‘Breaking waves: holding your course and having fun in turbulent times’.

The day was a fantastic success, and a scorcher! Below you can review a list of speakers, bands, activities and food vendors that contributed to make the day so special.


Bart Weetjens

Bart Weetjens is a Zen priest and social entrepreneur. He is the founder of APOPO, an international humanitarian organisation that trains rats to save human lives by detecting landmines and disease. His work was recognised by Ashoka, the Schwab Foundation to the World Economic Forum and he won a Skoll Award for social entrepreneurship. Based on a vision that wellbeing inspires well-doing, he joined The Wellbeing Project, to help shift the culture in the field of social change to a more caring and compassionate one, with more support for the inner wellbeing of social change leaders. After 12 years of working in Tanzania, Africa, Bart moved back to his birth place Antwerp, Belgium, where he lives with his wife and two daughters.

Jo Berry

In 1984 an IRA bomb, planted in the Grand Hotel in Brighton, killed Jo Berry’s father. Jo knew she had a choice: to harbour feelings of hatred and anger, or to seek understanding and so bring peace back into her life. She chose peace.

Following his release from prison Jo sought out a meeting with Patrick Magee, the Brighton bomber. And from that initial three hours spent together Jo and Patrick have formed a remarkable friendship, based on compassion and respect. For the past 15 years they have travelled the world spreading a message of peace and understanding. With political, religious and racial divides seemingly deepening as global and local events unfold, Jo offers a story of hope, and inspires us to see the humanity in those who at first appear to be our adversaries.

Jo is frequently invited to speak at international conferences and seminars in the world of humanitarian aid, conflict resolution and human rights. She  founded Building Bridges for Peace and has presented at TEDx Exeter a talk entitled 'Disarming with Empathy'.


Sarah Corbett & The Craftivist Collective 

Changing our world one stitch at a time...

Activism often conjures up quick transactional signing of petitions, clicktivism, loud and aggressive ways to demand justice. Craftivist Collective provide 'slow activism' that uses craft as a meditative tool to stop, reflect and act on injustice issues in a transformative and gentle way. Join in with this hopeful, creative and thoughtful way of doing activism using their tools and projects.

Sarah Corbett is the Founder of the global Craftivist Collective. A social enterprise providing tools, services and support for organisations and individuals to do slow, gentle & intriguing activism using needlework. An activist since she was 3 she has seven years experience as a professional campaigner and now works as a full time craftivist working with charities, art institutions and universities amongst others.

Website: craftivist-collective.com 
Twitter: @craftivists 
Instagram: @craftivists 


The Invisible Circus

Website: www.invisiblecircus.co.uk/invisible-youth/ 

Invisible Youth are the youth and social circus wing of Bristol's Invisible Circus. For the last 4 years they have delivered circus projects to a wide range of people from various backgrounds. Working anywhere from playgrounds in deprived areas to old people's homes, they believe in taking circus to those who would not usually be able to access it. They use circus as a tool for social change, by engaging young people with positive adult role models and encouraging important life skills such as daring, teamwork, focus and perseverance. The journey is more important than the end result.

Mystery Book

Give a donation and receive a wonderful book all wrapped up for you to enjoy the suprise. These books will be divided into age appropriate categories.

Sidcot Drama Department

Past productions include most recently, Oh What a Lovely War, Chicago (both shows were musicals situated in the Meeting House) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (in the Foyer of the Arts Centre and Drama Studio). Having in the past done Greek Tragedies; Antigone and Love of the Nightingale with the theme being ‘Speak Truth to Power’, and currently studying 'Fear and Superstition' with in the GCSE groups, we are constantly developing our perceptions on peace and how can it be achieved.

Sidcot School traditionally every other year head up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as the Hurly Burly Company with the performance 'Death by Shakespeare', Children performances ‘Stone' and new this year 'Grimble Witch'. The students undergo a demanding two week rehearsal schedule, devising, composing and choreographing ready for an intense ten days in Edinburgh. This year we look forward to taking up Alumni as well as current students, to experience a professional acting environment.

Arts and Crafts

Junior school

The Junior School tent will be decorated as an imaginative animal habitat where animal concerns are listened to!!!

The Junior School children will be facilitating an animal mask workshop. The animals (masks) will be asked questions about where they live and what it is like where they live. They will share their concerns and their feelings about their lives. Then the animal masks will take to the puppet stage and asked - ‘What would you like to tell the people here?’ and ‘Do you have a message for human beings?’

Masks will be displayed with speech bubbles in and around the tent.


Our PeaceJam students will be offering henna artwork, face painting and the opportunity to make your own tie dye tshirt. Why not make your own ship and sail accross the mini lake with a message set on the sails, breaking the waves and having fun in the turbulent time?

Craftivist Collective

By using the quiet, reflective time it gives us to explore global issues and how they affect the world around us, we can create something beautiful, considered, positive and potentially world-changing.

Join us, together we can change our world, one stitch at a time…

Breaking chains and making links

Join our Quaker Elder students in making a continuous paperchain.


Come and have your photo takenwith friends and family with some of our crazy props.

Giant Bubbles


With over 10 years of battling at the top level, performing and teaching worldwide and individually pioneering their art form. The Beatbox Collective is comprised of the leading beatbox artists in the UK Ball-Zee, Bass6, Bellatrix, BFG, Experimental, Hobbit and MC Zani. Each credited for their respective styles and statuses, they have merged to form incredibly high impact and energetic shows and were recently crowned as the official World Beatbox Champions in 2015. Ranging from live music production of all genres, physical theatrics and crowd participation, no two shows are ever the same!

Originally commissioned by Shambala festival in 2011 they formed to build an exclusive main stage performance and went on to have done the rounds of the festival circuit for 5 years now with Glastonbury, Boomtown Fair, Bestival, Lovebox, Secret Garden Party, Boom Bap and many more under their belt, including a self written and produced 5* show and sell out show at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2016.

With rapid recognition internationally by affiliated scenes and art forms TBC have had headline performances at the World B-Boy Championships, World DMC Championships, Humanbeatbox Festival, Secret Walls and End of the Weak World Finals. This group is opening up eyes, ears and dance floors to the dynamics an elite group of vocalists can deliver.

This is an experience for all audiences, giving the understanding of what can be done with just musical minds and microphones and pushing the boundaries of the human vocals.

Find out more here 

Mixing the finest elements of many musical styles is no mean feat, but Bristol based Mango Factory are up to the challenge. Comprising a super tight rhythm section, explosive horns and two incredible vocalists, the Mangos have been blasting their way across the South West and beyond, gaining rave reviews wherever they play.

Find out more here

We are a gospel choir based in Wrington, North Somerset. Our emphasis is on having fun, singing and performing at functions and charity events. We are a real mix of ages, ability and personalities.

Find our more here

Beard the Lion

Beard the Lion is a 6 piece ska band made up of Sidcot sixth form students, playing a variety of genres and styles of music ranging from modern pop music, to classics from the 60s.

Just Us!

Just Us! have an eclectic set list drawn from influences which include David Bowie, Nirvana, Blondie, Carly Simon and Alice Cooper. Their collective goal is to have fun doing what they enjoy, and hope that you enjoy it too, and to show that you’re never too old to have a go. It could be said they are somewhat ‘old(er) school’.

Human Library

Taking place in the yurt village, each story telling yurt offers an informal space in which to connect to these powerful stories.

Dave Sayers

Bears! Sharks! Penguins! War! and more...

Recollections of a 10 year adventure following a disasterous shopping trip. Dave's time as a British Infantry soilder- from painting rocks and litter picking in the desert, to decisions that live with him to this day.

Kurt Strauss

Nineteen thirty was not a good year to come into the world if your parents were Jewish and living in Germany, which his were.  His brother was a student at Sidcot and thanks to his efforts, and those of his headmaster, George Hutchinson, together with other assorted Quakers, his father was rescued and shipped to England in the Spring of 1939.  He and his mother followed not long afterwards, in one of the Kindertransport trains, she posing as a carer and his posing as one of the Kinder.

Kurt and his family started a new life in a hostel for German refugee run by the Quakers in Westbourne Terrace, Paddington.  It was not long before they were on the move again.  The refugee hostel had been re-evacuated to a holiday chalet, Lleddr Hall, not far from Betws-y-Coed in Conway.  

At the age of 11, he was old enough to join Sidcot and all his fees (board, lodging and education) were being paid for by the Quakers, and probably holiday travel as well.  

He is especially pleased to be invited back this summer for the Festival of Peace.  The sight of the School in the arms of those seven hills always lifts his spirits.

Maryam Ahmad

Hiba tur Rahim Maryam is Pakistani by ethnicity. She has a post graduate degree in International Relations Foreign Policy and Politics and Law and a second masters is on Media and Communication. She has been writing and working in the field of social media for the past 8 years and is currently working part time as a producer in a non-profit organization

Our circumstances shape us. Good or bad they have a direct influence on us. Sometimes they make you take a complete leap of faith and you become an entirely different person from what you once were in the same body. In belonging to a comfortably settled family in Pakistan she had a very good upbringing perhaps better than so many. Hiba was offered opportunities to try and experience cuisines, cultures and get educated, yet she had simple dreams to find love, be married and do some small thing in her leisure time. Perhaps she was uncharacteristically unlucky or perhaps had aspects of her personality that the marriage she was put into made her rebel against it and she reacted against a forced marriage making her a freak of sorts, being a divorcee and talking about marital rape in a very patriarchal society; very similar to 1885 to 1950's England. She has continued her struggle, albeit on a very slow pace, because most of her struggle comes from battling the demons inside, battling health issues that these demons give her and yet she feels fortunate that she is able to continue fighting for rights for women and basic human rights.

Food and Drink


Charity Stalls


Independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 3 - 18 in Somerset

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