Biggest Catholic Youth event set to light a ‘flame’ in Wembley

On 11 March, up to 10,000 Catholics will attend Flame 2017, a youth event at Wembley arena, and share stories of faith and hope from across the world.flame-poster2

Young Catholics from across the country will come together for the biggest event of its kind in the UK. The theme of the day is ’10,000 reasons to hope’ based on the song by Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Matt Redman, who will be performing at the event.


Three young leaders from Southwark diocese, who are volunteering with CAFOD, will be attending the event and running lunchtime workshops around the themes of refugees and climate change.messages

During the event, CAFOD is aiming to collect 10,000 messages of hope to send to refugees around the world. This is part of our refugee action campaign, and we have so far received over 25,000 messages from communities across England and Wales.

CAFOD youth volunteers, Leah Fox, 19, and Ryan Wilkinson, 18, will be speaking on the day about their experiences of meeting refugees in Lebanon, in hopes of inspiring the young people to act.lebanon

“I am so excited to speak at Wembley,” said Ryan, who is currently volunteering at Savio House, the Salesian retreat centre in Sheffield. “From my own personal experience, sharing messages of hope makes a massive difference and shows refugees that they are not alone.”

“During these turbulent times, it is great that so many young people will be coming together for one cause,” added Leah, who is currently training to be a primary school teacher. “I hope that by sharing my story, I will encourage young people to take further action in solidarity with refugees.”

The event, organised by the Catholic Youth Ministry Federation, will also include talks by the Archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Nichols, Myanmar’s first Cardinal Charles Bo, and Matt Redman.

Tickets are still available for the event which will take place on 11 March at the SSE arena in Wembley. Doors will open at 10am with the event expected to finish at 5:30pm.


Find out more on CAFOD’s website or on their Facebook page

Understanding CAFOD workshop on 4 February 2017: Come along!

CAFOD Southwark is organising an “Understanding CAFOD” workshop.


CAFOD volunteers discussing about CAFOD Harvest Fast Day Harvest

Come to find out all about how, why and where the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development works to transform the lives of poor communities across the world. Learn about how you can get involved as a volunteer and share your time to make a difference.


You have 2 location and date to Choose from :

You have two locations to choose from – Please book online or call us on 020 8466 9901:

  1. Saturday 28th January at the St Francis of Assisi parish, 160 The Grove, London, E15 1NS
  2.  Saturday 4th February (workshop one: 10am -1:55pm) at Amigo Hall, Lambeth, London SE1 7HY, next to St Georges Cathedral. This workshop will held be just before the Lent fast Day briefing. Special guest: Clare Dixon CAFOD head of Latin America. Register here


Message of hope from Lucy and Jenny, 'We believe in you, you can do it!'

Lucy and Jenny tell refugees, ‘we believe in you!’

By Chardelle Lennard, Media Volunteer

To mark the Year of Mercy announced by Pope Francis, a group of students of St Gregory’s Secondary School wrote some heartfelt messages of hope for our refugee brothers and sisters. Led by school volunteer, Maggie Melville, the students aged 12 – 17 engaged in activities and discussions concerning the refugee crisis.

Maggie first instigated an icebreaker, whereby the students matched up statistics with statements about refugees. She encouraged them to express how they felt about the portrayal of refugees in the media, seeing that some of the children themselves were refugees or knew someone who was. She also spoke to them about the Year of Mercy, Jesus’ call to us to ‘welcome the outsider’, and the Pope’s encouragement to all Catholics to go on a pilgrimage.

To conclude the day’s activities Maggie allowed the students to do their own ‘mini pilgrimage’ on the school’s grounds. A rose (courtesy of Maggie herself) was put at various stations by the students. They showed compassion and

Patryk, Chloe and Meagan tell refugees, 'You will get through this... stay strong and positive'

Patryk, Chloe and Meagan tell refugees, ‘You will get through this… stay strong and positive’

understanding as they reflected on the readings. A candle was then lit for the final prayer and as they talked about their hopes and dreams for the future, they wrote their messages of hope for refugees.

There are so many ways anyone, especially young people can help in response to the refugee crisis. There are a number of resources and information on our site to help you.



'From this writer Florence: Don't give up your dreams, keep on believing'

‘From this writer Florence: Don’t give up your dreams, keep on believing’

You could write your own message of hope or organise a Year of Mercy pilgrimage in your parish.

If you are a school teacher, you could book a visitor to lead a similar activity by contacting us on or 020 8466 9901. Or you can find activities to use with your pupils on our website.