On Saturday 11th March, 50 of us made a pilgrimage on coach from Hartlepool to Wembley Arena for Flame 2017. When we arrived, we joined with 800+ young people from our diocese and our 800 contributed to 10,000 Catholic young people from across the UK.

We were inspired by the words of Cardinal Bo from Myanmar who taught us that ‘hope has no expiry date.’ We were told by Mike Pilavachi that we were worth more than 5 cows! We were told by refugees that they had lost their dignity and identity and shared with us the depth of their humanity, which had been restored by the work of the Jesuit Refugee Service. We were brought to tears by the powerful dramas provided by RISE Theatre and we learned about the work of CAFOD in Lebanon and other areas. On top of all this we had a lot of fun and we sang and danced with top Christian artists GuvnaB and Matt Redman.

There was so much packed into the day that we can’t possibly do it justice in one article, but please flick through the @ems_chaplaincy and @hpool_ministry Twitter feeds and Facebook pages for reflections and videos of the day. To give you a very quick summary, enjoy the video from Miss Malcolmson who documented the whole event on her Go-Pro from the minute she awoke until she crashed on her bed at night.

We have been promised by the CYMFed organisers that 2019 is going to be even bigger and better! Watch this space.