Thursday, 29 March 2012

FLAME . . .

Last Saturday our Confirmation candidates joined over 8,000 other young Catholics at the National Youth Congress, 'Flame', at Wembley Arena. I don't think many of them had much idea about what would happen once they got there but hopefully they benefited from the experience and enjoyed a good day out too.

Here they are all are just about ready for the off with their catechists and other adults who went along to help.

One of the group agreed to tell us about his experiences of the day. Over to you Kieran . . .

FLAME 2012

On Saturday 24 March 2012 the confirmation group and leaders by invitation of Fr Míċeál attended a catholic youth gathering (known as Flame) in Wembley Arena. Flame (in short) is an event aimed at the younger generation of Catholics to come together and give thanks for our lives. The whole day was “inspirational”, however it was a day in which if you went into it with a positive attitude then you got more out of it.

For some, travelling far and wide, it was an early start, but for us, we met at the church for 9:30 - which is early enough if you ask me! After the typical group photo of cheesy smiles and we all boarded our luxury coach that Fr Míċeál had commandeered for us. I will leave out the specifics of the journey but I think that it is safe to say that with all of us teenagers at the back of the bus we were quite a rowdy bunch!

On arrival we took the obligatory commemorative photo of the group, again a few cheesy grins and off we went to the Arena. For those of who don’t know, Wembley Arena is right next to Wembley Stadium where England football games are played.

We were then allocated our tickets and went to find out seats. Inside was...........simply VAST! We had time for a quick look around and took our seats for the start. .....

We were introduced to our Hosts for the day and were given a rough outline of what to expect. We were told that the day was to be split into sections: Respect, Friendship and Excellence.

In the first part of the day we prayed, watched some live drama, interpretative dance and watched a multimedia presentation. To finish this section we had a speech by Fr. Timothy Radcliffe OP on the theme of Respect.

We left the Arena then for lunch break and some taking advantage of the good weather decided to ‘cool off’ in the nearby water feature!!

After lunch we gathered back in the Arena where we were given a talk by the Mizen Family (whose son had been killed in a random attack while out shopping).

We then had an International speaker talking about the value of sports in bringing peace and transforming those communities living in poverty.

Following on from this there were a variety of different speakers and acts emphasising the importance of friendship. There was then another break and on our return we had some more speakers talking about excellence.

We then had a time of prayer and adoration, with a homily from Archbishop Vincent Nichols.

Finally we had a closing celebratory concert played by a group known as “Indecisive”. This is when many people started to leave and being the friendly bunch that we are, we waved, said goodbye and wished them a safe journey home.

Heading home we talked about the day as a group, with no adult influence, and we came to the conclusion that it was a thoroughly enjoyable event, that future confirmation candidates would be very lucky to go on.

Thank-you very much Fr Míċeál

Kieran Hiscock

And here's Kieran sporting a very fetching tee-shirt, with Leo another of our group.