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Catholic Youth Ministry aims to fill out Wembley Arena for Olympic event

By on Friday, 10 February 2012

Wembley Arena (Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA)

Wembley Arena (Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA)

The Catholic Youth Ministry (CYMFed) is hoping to fill out the 11,000 capacity Wembley Arena for the Flame Congress next month.

The organisers have already sold 7,000 tickets for the event, which will be hosted on March 24 and will link sport and faith before the London Olympic Games this summer.

The event was inspired by the success of the Papal Visit of September 2010, in which large numbers of young people at Westminster Cathedral, Hyde Park and at “the Big Assembly” at Twickenham were active.

There will be ten bishops at the event, as well as Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, and among the speakers will be Sister Catherine Holum, a former Olympic speedskater, Barry and Margaret Mkizen and Paschal Uche, who spoke at the Papal Visit. There will be talks on the themes of “friendship, excellence and respect”, while the music will be composed by Edwin Fawcett, who was heavily involved in the music for the Papal Vigil.

Such is the demand for the Flame Congress, which takes its name from St Paul’s letter to Timothy – “Fan into a Flame the gifts that God gave you” – that Hexham and Newcastle Diocese have hired a train to Wembley, and filled it out already.

Fr Dominic Howarth, Flame Congress Coordinator, said: “We hope people have a good day, but we want more than that – we want it to form their faith and their character. We hope it’s an affirming day for the person who is the only young person in their parish and looks around and sees 10,000 people and realises ‘I’m not alone here’.”

Details of the event can be found here.

  • James H

    Wa-hey! Go Catholic Youth! Living well is the best revenge – more strength to their arms!

  • Andrew

    CYMFED events in my opinion are just fluffy rubbish, very little Catholic content, lots of liturgical abuses, same old circuit speakers, lets send some balloons up the sky type rubbish..These people have the platform to change so much, but they fail miserably to put together anything that really resembles real Catholicism.   When you have speakers such as Fr. Timothy Radcliffe speaking you know you know the event is a complete waste of time and rubbish.  Just send your young person to a Youth 2000 retreat or Juventutem retreat, rather then damage their souls with this sentimental tosh.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks to the Herald for a brilliant article.

    So many people are really looking forward to Flame now and it promises to be an amazing day.

    It seems strange that in only a few years we have gone from virtually no co-ordination of Catholic Youth Ministry whatsoever to the point of an amazing event which looks likely to fill Wembley Arena. 

    The Church in this country has never done anything like this before and I don’t really think any religious group in the UK have done anything on this scale either.

    I remember well the joy of the Papal Visit. I was in Hyde Park that evening and the atmosphere was just electric. We are now at a real crossroads, being between the Papal Visit and the Olympics and hopefully Flame will pick up on it nicely.

    I can’t wait until March 24th now and it will be great to see everybody there.

    I’m also hoping that the event can be followed up well afterwards and lead to the establishment of more youth ministry at local levels.

    Roll on March 24th :)