On Saturday 21st November, (which was both the weekend of Youth Sunday and the feast of Christ the King) the second Embrace Conference took place at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. Having missed last year’s conference, I had no idea what to expect but was excited for what the day entailed. I was definitely not disappointed!

It was a fantastic day packed with laughter, singing and silent reflection. The day began with praise & worship, prayer and a speech from David Wells. I then attended a workshop with Rise Theatre Company, as I have enjoyed performances from them in the past. They ran a drama workshop on the theme of ‘storytelling’ and in groups we reflected on the parable of the mustard seed, producing freeze frames that represented the seed growing into something much bigger. Throughout the day, there were several keynote speeches which focused on the theme for the conference: “Build my Kingdom”. I particularly enjoyed the talk from Fr Frankie Mulgrew, who used an American football and a pair of oven gloves to demonstrate the touchdown of God’s Kingdom to earth through Jesus!

Later in the day, we had time for praise & worship, then Adoration and Reconciliation - an opportunity to reflect on the wonderful day we were having. There was also a youth testimony that featured incredibly moving spoken word poetry, which is something I would love to try writing myself. Embrace concluded with Vigil Mass and everyone gathered together to praise God for such a great day. Following Communion, dancers from Corpus Christi Catholic High School performed a beautiful dance piece based upon embracing those affected by the migrant crisis. My favourite part of the day was after Mass, when the musicians played “We are the Free”, which seems to be a favourite worship song among many of us young Catholics! The joy in the Cathedral as we sang was indescribable, the atmosphere was electric, with everyone praising God at the tops of our voices. With much singing, dancing and clapping, the conference ended.

Embrace 2015 was a day filled with the most unbelievable amount of happiness and I had such an incredible time! It was also a great opportunity to catch up with many other young people who I have met through Lourdes and various other events, along with meeting many lovely new people. I am already looking forward to next year, and I can’t recommend it enough!

 Anna Jordan, 18, Preston