A powerful weekend at Ignite Youth Festival

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A powerful weekend at Ignite Youth Festival

Over 200 young people from across the Diocese of East Anglia enjoyed and benefited from a powerful weekend at the Ignite Festival, over the Bank Holiday Weekend at the Sacred Heart School in Swaffham. Hannah Williams reports.

Organised by the Ignite Youth Team, festival-goers enjoyed worship from the YFC Band from Norwich, comedy from Tony Vino and Nathan Ball, mime from Steve Murray and high energy music from DJ Galactus Jack and Black Vynes, which the attendees wholeheartedly enjoyed.

The Ignite Team did an amazing job of organising this weekend and encouraging the young people to seek a deeper relationship with God. The talks and workshops were filled with inspiring speakers including Sr Theresa Weight from the Community of Our Lady of Walsingham, Youth Chaplain Fr Luke Goymour and Bishop Alan Hopes who celebrated Mass in a specially constructed Holy House inside the school gymnasium.

“Young people are not just the future of the church, but they have a vital role to play in the present church,” said Bishop Alan.

This weekend gave the young people a beautiful invitation to further explore their faith and reach out to God as He reached out to them.

Twelve-year-old Nancy Allen loved the variety of fun and spiritual workshops. “I had an encounter with Christ and my faith has really grown from the event. I really learnt something from the weekend and loved seeing the Bishop and having adoration in the holy house,” she said. Nancy went on to say how she made new friends, liked the food, and looks forward to next year!

The theme of the weekend was the same as for World Youth Day 2019: “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1v38). Which fitted in with the talk by Sr Theresa on the Saturday as she related her personal faith journey, having taken her final vows just last year.

“God is revealed to us in the everyday things of life,” explained Sr Theresa. “I think God is asking many of you to say ‘yes’ to him in some way this weekend. Mary helps us to see what God is asking of us and embrace our ‘yes’. Say to the Lord, like Mary: ‘Let it be done to me according to your word’.”

Professional Christian comedian, and former solicitor, Tony Vino, straight from a visit to Nairobi and before he left for Montenegro, brought the crowd to life with his jokes and impromptu staging’s of the story of King Arthur and The Lion King with the help of the audience.  

“I had such fun when the DJ came on, and found the comedian, Tony Vino, so funny,” 13-year-old Trinity Fannon from East Rudham remarked. “The talk by Steve Murray made me think and I really related to what he spoke about. I also felt such comfort when I had someone praying over me. I can’t wait till next year and I highly recommend this to all the youth!”

Other teenagers at the event said how enriching the prayer was and how it drew them closer to God. One young person even said the event changed their life! 

On the Monday around 120 of the Festival attendees joined in with the Diocesan Pilgrimage to Walsingham, after walking five miles from Waterden Church, echoing the journey taken by thousands of pilgrims to Walsingham over the centuries. 

The Ignite Festival was a compelling weekend that has served to help so many teenagers as they go through a turbulent stage of their life. It has assisted them in enriching their lives with Christs love and growing with his strength as they grow in their faith and relationship with Christ.

Pictured above, comedian Tony Vino stages The Lion King, with help from his audience.

Click here or see below for a full picture gallery of the festival

Ignite Youth Festival Swaffham May 2019