On Saturday 4th March, the CYMFED Flame Congress for young people is returning to London after a significant break due to the pandemic. The Southwark Diocesan Youth Service is thrilled to invite all young people to join them once again for an inspirational day of worship, top-rated speakers, fantastic music and the chance to join together in prayer.
The theme of Flame 2023 – which is exactly 150 days before World Youth Day in Lisbon – takes the WYD Scripture “Mary arose and went with haste” and crystallises it into the theme, “Rise Up!”
The FLAME National Youth Congress is the biggest Catholic youth event in the UK, with 10,000 due to take part this weekend. The Archdiocese of Southwark will be bringing 500 young people to this special event in Wembley Ovo Arena in 2023, which is open to all those in Year 9 (14 years) through to university age.
Organised by CYMFed, the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation of England and Wales, this youth mega event has been described by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, as:
“Fantastic... full of energy, interest, but also prayer - with a deep quietness at times which, to me, has always been the real inner heart of Flame.”
A schedule of high-calibre speakers including Cardinal Luis Tagle, Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Nichols and a Pro-prefect in the Vatican's Dicastery of Evangelization, and Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB of Perth.
Award-winning rapper Guvna B, a huge hit at Flame 2019, will take to the stage, as will the talented singer-songwriter Adenike, who impressed on ITV's The Voice. She goes from audience to big stage having once attended Flame with her parish.
One Hope Project, a creative collective encouraging fresh expressions of worship in the Catholic Church, will also be performing, as will Faith Child, a MOBO and multi-award-winning rapper.
Fighting “Forever Chemicals”
Ohio lawyer Robert Bilott is in town to raise awareness of so-called “forever chemicals” - dangerous chemicals that have been dumped into the environment and, perhaps most worryingly, are found in 99% of humans. Robert has won many accolades for his work litigating against big companies such as DuPont. His story caught the eye of Hollywood actor and producer, Mark Ruffalo, and was made into the film Dark Waters, with Robert played by the renowned actor himself. Ahead of Flame, Robert spoke to the Bishops’ Conference about how excited he was to be speaking to thousands of young Catholics:
“I’m just really looking forward to being able to speak to young people. I speak to different college groups in universities across the US, because these are the people that have the passion and that are going to make change – they’re going to see this through.
“They’re much more attuned to a lot of these issues than folks in our generation and I love to see that passion. I love to see people who realise that they can make a difference. One person standing up, speaking out, saying, ‘you know what, we can change this – it can happen.’”
Charity and Clarity
Brenden Thompson and Georgia Clarke from Catholic Voices will speak about the need to talk with 'charity and clarity' about the Church and how the organisation was set up after Pope Benedict’s visit in 2010 to improve the Church's representation in the media, and Therese Withers, a Catholic artist, will be lighting up Flame with her artwork and images.
For more information, please visit the Flame website:
A limited number of tickets are still available - BOOK NOW to avoid disappointment
Southwark will have a limited number of branded caps available but would like to encourage participants to wear an item of blue clothing (the shade is your choice) to reflect the Marian theme of the event, our diocesan Patroness, Mary Immaculate, and subsequently the blue colour on our diocesan logo (see below).