Flame Congress 2012

8,000 young people across the UK gathered together for Flame last Saturday at Wembley Arena.  There were loads of people from the Portsmouth Diocese there!  Hello to everyone at Oaklands, St Mary’s School, Ascot, all the young people who travelled up from Fareham, Gosport, Bournemouth, Dave Hill our Diocesan Youth Adviser, everyone at Kintbury and our fab volunteers from the University of Southampton Catholic Society!  A special hello to all those young people who came over from Jersey (the fantastic Jersey Association of Catholic Youth team – with Mary and Lynne) and Guernsey! Great to see you all!

Flame, organised by CYMFED, was inspired by the Papal Visit of September 2010 and by the global celebration of the Olympics.  These inspirations set the scene for an event where thousands of young Catholics gathered together to hear positive messages of hope, faith, challenge, justice, and leadership in adversity.

Speakers included Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Barry and Margaret Mizen and Jason Gardner, one of the UK’s all time greatest sprinters.

But the stand out part of the day for me was the opportunity to see our very own students from Oaklands – speaking on stage with Emmet and Theo from St Columbas – and Abdi from CAFOD partner St John’s Sports Society in Korogocho!   Fantastic! They were all so great – and it was an absolute pleasure to hear from Abdi – who spoke so well and so passionately.

Don’t take my word for it – look at our film of him here!

I’m really looking forward to hearing Abdi speak again this Wednesday night at Oaklands ‘Bringing Hope’ event.  It promises to be a FANTASTIC evening!  For more info on that event go to https://cafodportsmouth.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/bringing-hope-in-waterlooville/

Our special thanks go to all the brilliant CAFOD volunteers from Oaklands and from the University of Southampton Catholic Society who were part of our ‘Pass it on’ teams.

CAFOD officially launched Pass it on at Flame – asking people to take part in a big online relay, passing messages of peace and friendship around the world.

We filmed young people walking/running/dancing etc from left to right and asked them to write their special message of peace. The idea’s based on the 100 days’ truce that occurred at the early Olympic Games, which allowed athletes to travel safely to and from the Games.

We know that in 2012 many communities will not be living in peace so we are sending messages of solidarity to people around the world working for peace.

Although our volunteers filmed everyone all day at Flame – people can actually film themselves and upload the video on their own mobile phone – just go to http://passiton.cafod.org.uk/ to find out more.

For more information about Flame – go to the CYMFED website http://cymfed.org/

There’s also a great film about the conference – which can be seen here:

And more great photos here:

http://www.slideshare.net/CAFOD/flame-congress-2012

Thank you everyone! Great day!

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