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The sun is shining (sometimes…), exams are almost out of the way…the summer holidays are approaching! This is often the time of year that young people like to gather at music festivals across the country – Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, T in the Park, V Festival, Kendal Calling. Why are these events so popular with young people? There is a great atmosphere, good music and a sense of getting away from it all. Time to be with friends, and also meeting lots of new people. And also the chance to live off pot noodles for the weekend, and embrace living the hippy lifestyle for a few days!

Maybe you weren’t aware, but there are events up and down the country that allow us to experience all the best bits of the festivals, along with living out our Catholic faith. There is no shortage of events available, and many young people from our diocese will be journeying to various festivals and celebrations – enjoying and celebrating our faith, in many different ways. There is something for everyone!

On 17-19 June ‘Brightlights Festival’ will be taking place in the grounds of Alton Castle, Staffordshire. Brightlights is a Catholic festival for young adults, open to young people aged between 16 and 30. The weekend will include talks, workshops, and various activities, along with time for prayer and quiet refection, all focussed on the theme of mercy.

‘The Faith Summer Conference’ runs from 1-5 August, and takes place at Woldingham school, in Caterham, Surrey. The Faith Summer Session is for 16-35 year olds which includes talks, daily Mass, opportunities for discussion and social time. The week gives young Catholics a chance to ask questions about their faith and meet other young Catholics, in a relaxed and informal environment. There is also a swimming pool, football pitch and beautiful grounds available to use in the free time!

July sees the arrival of some of our diocesan summer events for young Catholics.  The annual Lancaster Diocese youth pilgrimage to Lourdes takes place from 21-30 July. Young people have the chance to go and serve the sick and elderly of our diocese, and play a big role in the running of the pilgrimage. In addition to the work that takes place there is also time to make new friends, relax in Lourdes, and reflect and learn about your own personal faith. There are still a few places available, but not for much longer!

An event that only comes around every 3 years, is World Youth Day. The Lancaster Diocese trip takes place from 24 July – 4 August, and we will be travelling to Krakow, Poland, to join in the WYD celebrations. It is the biggest gathering of young Catholics in the world, and there is expected to be around 3-4 million young people descending on the city of Krakow! It is an amazing atmosphere, and there are currently 4 places left to join with the Lancaster diocese youth service.

Towards the end of summer, Youth 2000 will hold their annual prayer festival in Walsingham, from 25-29 August, entitled‘Conquerors’. For five days, around 1000 young people will be camping in the fields of Norfolk, gathering for dynamic talks, live-band worship, powerful prayer times, fun social activities, creative workshops, in-depth discussions, evening entertainment and loads more, with brilliant speakers from the USA and all over the UK. And finally…there is our very own Lancaster Diocese annual ‘Big Walk’, on the weekend 9-11 September. The weekend begins at Castlerigg Manor on the Friday night, before setting off to walk from Honister Slate Mine, to the Shrine of Our Lady of Cleator, where our pilgrimage ends on the Sunday afternoon.  

There is plenty going on this summer for young people, whether in our diocese, or a little further afield. If you have any questions, or want to know how to join up with other young people in the Lancaster Diocese, then please give us a call in the office on 01768772711, or emailteam@castleriggmanor.co.uk. Happy holidays!