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Priest starts campaign for London to host World Youth Day

By on Monday, 16 January 2012

Benedict XVI arrives to celebrate the closing Mass of World Youth Day in Madrid last year (Photo: CNS)

Benedict XVI arrives to celebrate the closing Mass of World Youth Day in Madrid last year (Photo: CNS)

A priest in the Diocese of Westminster has begun a campaign for London to host the World Youth Day in 2016.

Fr Stephen Wang set up a Facebook group, “World Youth Day London 2016”, to test whether there is popular interest in the idea.

Fr Wang, dean of studies at the Allen Hall seminary in west London, said he was inspired after receiving an invitation to a group campaigning to host the 2015 World Youth Day in Kracow, from a pilgrim he had met in Madrid last year.

Fr Wang said: “It reminded me of all the fantastic buzz and energy among the English pilgrims in Madrid. There were English pilgrims all over the place, and we had lots of conversations about how fantastic it would be to have a World Youth Day in London. It was just dreams on the one hand, but there were lots of serious conversations about how it would be organised, where we would have the final Mass, and how would London cope.”

He said that the English Church could “put forward a fantastic proposal” and that, after the event had been staged in Spain, France, Italy and Germany in recent years, “the United Kingdom is the next obvious one”.

He added: “It wouldn’t just be a London event but a national event, we could even include Ireland, all the different dioceses and cities doing all these amazing things. But there is nowhere like London, in terms of the space, the infrastructure, the transport, food outlets, the venues, the parks and commons, and we have this unusual situation of three dioceses converging on one city. It is the biggest youth event in the world and London would be the ideal city.”

  • Bob Hayes

    Whilst I would love World Youth Day to come to these shores, please, please, please NOT London! London-centric everything has, quite understandably, helped fuel devolution and independence politics in Scotland and Wales and the so-called North-South divide is coming to be seen as London and the South East versus the rest of England. Metropolitan politics, metropolitan bureaucracy, metropolitan media, metropolitan social science [sic] and metropolitan myopia are the causes of much of our civil malaise. Let’s not taint our faith by association with London-obsession.

    I would suggest that one of the great successes of the Holy Father’s 2010 State Visit was precisely that it was not London-centric. WYD 2016 for Britain - yes please! But for the three nations, not just London. 

  • Catholic GADFLY

    I have been pushing for this issue to be brought ‘to the fore’ for a long time now!

    15 Reasons to bring World Youth Day to Britain!!!! Click below:

    For the William Oddie (Catholic Herald) article on WYD-UK click below:

    For the Catholic article on WYD-UK Click below:

  • guest

    wybctj day? world youth boycotting the jews day?

  • Claire_chiz

    I think a World Youth Day in London is a fantastic idea.  Count me in for support and practical help if it gets off the ground!!  Bring it on!!  )-:

  • Francesco lay

    También en Guadalajara, Jalisco se quiere la JMJ WYD Jornada Mundial de la Juventud;
    en la ciudad de Guadalajara