Ryan Wilkinson, Youth Formation Officer for the Diocese of Leeds, reports
In the early hours of Saturday 4 March, four coaches filled with young people from across the Diocese of Leeds headed to the OVO Arena Wembley for FLAME, the largest Catholic youth event in the country! FLAME takes place every two years (Covid permitting) and brings together over 8000 for a day of prayer, teaching and celebration.
The Diocese of Leeds was well represented by nearly 200 young people from the areas of Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Harrogate, Keighley, Wakefield, etc. all making the journey to London to hear from the incredible line up of speakers and musicians. All wearing Diocese of Leeds yellow scarves, the group took their seats right at the front! Can you spot the yellow scarves in the group photo?
A young person in Year 10 said; “I think Flame was the best experience of my life because I got to experience what it was like to be in a community full of young people who share my faith.”
The theme of the day was ‘Rise Up’ based on Pope Francis’ theme for World Youth Day Lisbon – ‘Mary arose and went with haste.’ (Luke 1:39). Speakers and performers included Adeniké, Faith Child, One Hope Project, Guvna B, Robert Bilott, David Wells, Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop Costello SDB and more! The speakers really helped to unpack the theme of the day encouraging all present to rise up after the pandemic, to be the now of the Church, to speak out, change the world and to make a ruckus!
During the day, a one-minute video put together by The Twelve, the Diocese of Leeds Youth Leadership Team, was played on the big screen sharing about who they are, what they have done so far and how they are rising up in our diocese to give young people a voice. You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUGJD3cSj3s&t=1s.
A massive thank you to all the young people who came and to all the lay chaplains, teachers, youth group leaders and all those who accompanied them (and enjoyed it too!). The next challenge is to keep that flame burning and to continue rising up! The next FLAME will be on Saturday 15 March 2025.