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Flame 2019 lights up youth faith at Wembley

A record 200 people from across the Diocese of East Anglia joined 8,000 young people at Wembley Arena for Flame 2019, the country’s largest gathering of Catholic youth in England and Wales, on Saturday March 2. Alex Savage reports.

The theme of the event was #Significance and explored ways in which we can lead a life of purpose.  The Congress started with a message from Pope Francis encouraging the Youth of the Church to ‘dream great things’ inspired by Jesus’ example. 

Jean Vanier the founder of l’Arche explained that as we accept our weaknesses and grow in love, our true value is revealed.

Rap Artist Guvna B and Emma Borquaye the founder of www.girlgotfaith.com shared about the difficulties they faced growing up, in particular how messages and images on social media can make us feel inadequate.  Their faith helped both of them to discover their true potential and how to lead a fulfilling life.

Robert Madu, a pastor from Dallas Texas, explained with passion and humour why comparing our lives to everyone around us is pointless.  He finished by saying “In the race of life we should stay in our lane and focus our eyes on Jesus”.  This received a standing ovation from the crowd who were genuinely moved by his words of encouragement.

The young people who attended the Congress were clearly inspired by experiencing this event with thousands of like-minded people.  On the coach home they shared what they would take back from FLAME.

Jasmine felt that “the people who spoke were so relatable and inspirational”. 

“The atmosphere of being with everyone in Christ filled our hearts” said Angel. 

One of the most popular aspects of the day was singing such uplifting songs.  Matthew shared how the music “filled everyone with joy”.

Destiny summed up the day up by explaining “you can really feel the presence and love of God around us”.

Large groups came from Norwich 108, Ipswich 36, Cambridge, Peterborough and St Ives 26, Swaffham 16 and Walsingham 7.

Pictured top are many of the large group from East Anglia at Flame and, above, Texas pastor Robert Madu and the Flame choir. Pictures by Alex Savage and Marcin Mazur.