The annual Epiphany Candlelight Youth Mass, took place at the church of Our Lady of the Annunciation in Poringland, organised by the Ignite team and Director of Youth Services Hamish MacQueen with attendees from across Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambs and Peterborough.
Welcoming the congregation, Bishop Alan said: “Epiphany means revelation and we are celebrating the revealing of Jesus Christ to each one of us and to the world.”
The Mass included a chance for participants to light a candle and donate a present to be given to children who are refugees in the UK.
In his homily, Youth chaplain, Fr Luke Goymour, said: “At Christmas, God burst into our world and into humanity to begin to act out the drama of our salvation. He did not come in glory but was born in a manger. But there was this light emanating from Bethlehem that attracted first the shepherds and then the Magi because God had become man and the world will never be the same again.
“It teaches us that there is no part of our world and human experience that God is absent from. God dwells in everything, in the mess and in the rubbish of our lives. We need to be people who are alert and awake to the presence of the almighty God in our own lives. The message of Christmas and the Epiphany is that God is with us and he is for everyone,” said Fr Luke.
“Candles are an ancient symbol which like the fireworks remind us of the Bethlehem star and the true light bursting into our world, dispelling the darkness. We too are all called to be lights in the world and people who show forth God’s presence, by the way that we act, by the way that we pray, by the way that we worship and by the way that we live,” he said.
“People should be able to look at us and glimpse something of the majesty and the glory of the God who dwells within us. So, as a symbol at the beginning of this new year, as our pledge to be God’s light in the world, we will each light a candle at the front and prayerfully ask God to show us one way in which we can ask God to help us to be a light in the world this coming year.”
After Mass, everyone went outside to enjoy hot dogs, a bonfire and a firework display in the garden of the Bishop’s White House.