Pope Francis recently said that “the world of young people is profoundly marked by the experience of vulnerability, disability, sickness and suffering…” We don’t need to look far to see those who suffer and who are desperately searching for a reason to hope. Often we can see it in our friends or in family members, or perhaps we have had the difficult experience of hopelessness ourselves, which has led us to ask the big questions: “Is there more to life than this?” or “Does God really care about me?” This is the start of the journey to hope!
This year’s Walsingham Summer Festival is an opportunity to begin, or to be renewed in this journey and we’d love for you to join us wherever you may be along the way. As Christians we always have a reason to hope! We have a person to hope in; Jesus Christ, who is faithful to His promise that He will be with us until the end.
Hey lovely people! My name is Babs and I am so looking forward to having a whole lot of fun together at the Walsingham festival this year! I have been coming to Walsingham for around 6 years and it has been quite a journey. I only knew one other person at my first Walsingham and spent the first day (at least) wondering what I was doing in the middle of nowhere on the August bank holiday. Thankfully, I stayed the course and that Walsingham opened up a whole new chapter – in faith, friendship and a ton of fun! I used to think that there was only one way to being an active young Catholic – and my daily life as a busy corporate tax lawyer didn’t exactly fit the mould (think Suits – except more books). My experience at Walsingham showed me that God created us beautifully different on purpose – he’s not looking for a certain type of Catholic… God wants you to live your true and unique identity to the full. I am so excited to be continuing this journey with all of you and it is my prayer that we are open to receive and share the glorious gifts that God has in store for us this Walsingham.
Fr Gabriel is a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal, originally from Canada, but currently serving as the leader of St. Patrick’s Mission in Bradford. Throughout the festival you will find him helping to lead worship, meeting old and new friends, hearing confessions and drinking lots of coffee in the cafe!
Pippa came to the Walsingham festival for the first time last year and we are so excited she is back again! Pippa is a worship leader with the One Hope Project and has sang and spoke all over the world. She has a passion for seeing people lead with joy and hope through the power of the Holy Spirit, and she models this so well for us! Pippa recently made a move from London to the South Yorkshire to be a part of a team who are setting up the new Mission Hub in Sheffield.
Hey, my name is Paschal Uche. I'm currently studying in St Mary's Oscott training for the priesthood! By Gos's grace, I will be coming to this festival as a newly ordained Deacon! I have been coming to Walsingham Festival for over 10 years, there is no question that Walsingham is the highlight of my summer! Year after year it gets better and better. My hope this year is that you, the vibrant young church of today, will gather in your numbers in Walsingham. Together we will be encouraged, enlightened, spiritually energised and enriched by Jesus our Saviour, through the living and powerful intercession of Mary our Mother. You have nothing to lose and literally EVERYTHING to gain!
It’s always great to welcome back someone who has given so much to the work of Youth 2000. Christina Kidd, one of our main speakers at the festival, will be sharing about her journey with prayer and how it has sustained her on this journey of hope! Christina was previously the Managing Director of Youth 2000 before starting her current job with the incredible charity Mary’s Meals. It has been a BIG year for Tina as she just married Paul in April! We look forward to sharing in the JOY and HOPE of Tina’s message at the festival.
Hiya, my name is Sarah Morton, and I'm from a small town in Lancashire. I studied Theology at the University of Manchester, then got married, had a dreamy baby boy, and now I work as a Lay Chaplain at a High School. I hate long journeys and camping, so I was very much dragged to my first Youth 2000 event as a teenager, but thanks be to God that I was!
Through prayer, the conversation, and most importantly the sacraments, I came to know how deeply loved I am by the Father. This love has transformed my life, weaving through every aspect; my habits, my parenting, my work. It is the biggest and best gift, one that can be received by us all!