Great Britain – Flame 2023: “Rise Up”

13 March 2023

(ANS – London) – After a break of four years due to Covid-19, the great Catholic bi-annual youth gathering organised by the CYMFed (Catholic Youth Ministry Federation), finally took off with a bang. It took place on Saturday March 4th, in the Wembley Ovo Arena -North London; a range of exciting activities were on the agenda. About 8. 000 young people from Catholic communities across England, Wales and Scotland took part. Of those young Catholics were about 300 coming from Salesian schools and parishes of all over the country.

The day focused on the theme: “Rise up”, as displayed by the young Mary. In fact, after the event of the Annunciation by Angel, Mary ran to Elizabeth, her elderly cousin, to share with her the wonders of the Lord (Luke1: 26- 45). So the theme was linked with the motto chosen by Pope Francis for the upcoming World Youth Day, Portugal 2023.

This year’s gathering offered several tremendous activities, beginning with prayer and music from One Hope Project before a statue of Our Lady of Walsingham was brought in, and the Deacon Steven Lloyd SDB, read from the Gospel, to start the day off.

Students from St Angela's and St Bonaventure's schools showcased a piece of drama showing the angel speaking to Mary, and encouraging her to visit Elizabeth and 'Rise up and make haste'.

Pope Francis sent his greetings and assurance of prayers to everyone at “Flame” who encouraged everyone to respond to the Lord's call to follow him, and to dare to be different.

The activities included also prayer services, with the final adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as the high point of the day, songs of praise and worship with great Gospel artists (One Hope Project, Adeniké, Guvna B, Faith Child, and Candice & Ibe), and eminent speakers from all over the World (Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, SDB, from Australia, who challenged the youth to think "On the way home from Flame, ask yourself, What do I need to do?"; Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, from Rome; Robert Billot from the States, and Jenny Garzon Saavedra, from Colombia). The input covered different aspects such as faith today, the Environment…The speakers all challenged the participants to find out “what call God addresses them today, in order to build a better and just human society”, as Catholics.

The Salesians of Don Bosco – GBR province play a significant role in the event's organization alongside other congregations and organizations. Deacon Ste Llyod SDB read the gospel and exposed the blessed sacrament.

Each diocese and congregation was represented by a young person who was invited onto the stage to sit with the bishops and be close to the blessed sacrament. Led by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the time was spent by everyone in deep reflection and prayer before concluding with songs by One Hope Project and Guvna B.

There was more media from the day:

SalesianLink Flickr album

Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales Flickr album

A video put together by Fr. Anthony Lobo SDB


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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