On Saturday 4 March, a group of students from Year 9 to 12 attended the largest Catholic youth event in England and Wales, Flame 2023.
The event was sold out and 10,000 people filled the OVO Wembley Arena, for an inspiring day of prayer, adoration, catechesis, reflection, celebration and praise. The FLAME events were established by the late Fr. Dermott Donnelly, brother of Declan Donnelly. Ant and Dec sent a video message of welcome to all the young people present as did Pope Francis!
There was a variety of musical performances including from Christian artists, Guvna B, Adenike and Faith Child.
During the day, there was also an opportunity for students to take part in Adoration, the opportunity to truly “Be Still for the Presence of the Lord.” For some of our students, this was a new experience and all found it very moving.
Our CAFOD young leaders team were very busy throughout the day and led many activities around the arena including interviewing people about their day.
A wonderful range of speakers offered their wisdom to their audience including Jenny Garzon Saavedra, an experienced youth worker who works in the Colombian Amazon. Jenny spoke about her work on a project that helps communities learn how to care for creation and put this into practice in all aspects of their lives, including reusing and recycling discarded household objects.
The world renowned speaker, Cardinal Tagle, (Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples) also spoke and shared a message from His Holiness the Pope urging the young people present to be known for pursuing justice and common good, encouraging them to dare to be different.
Each speaker had a common message for the young people present, “Rise up and be the change you want to see – it is easier to build bridges than walls!” with everyone challenged to be the change they want to see in the world.