Thursday 5 July 2012

Going Home

Aylesford had just had a very busy week. Large tents were put up to get ready for the influx of young people and each day last week large groups came together from the Archdiocese of Southwark. The Catholic youth service team of the diocese helped the young people reflect on their faith in a very enjoyable format. Then at the weekend, even more tents were added as about 200 young people came to stay. There were talks, prayers, barbeques, and even a rap workshop! Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark came to celebrate the Mass on Sunday afternoon and he was very impressed by the enthusiasm of the participants. Some of the tents are still up but many have already been packed away and the crowds have gone home.

Next year this event promises to be even bigger. It will be held at the same time as the World Youth Day for those who cannot make the journey to Rio de Janeiro. All sorts of planning will have to go into this to make sure that the young people are linked in somehow to the experience of those who will gather in Rio.

The weather was kind for the young people, and despite the occasional shower, they really enjoyed themselves. The service of reconciliation was really moving. God will surely bless the desire to grow in the relationship with Him. 
Aylesford is for everyone, young and old, and all those who work and minister here do put a lot of effort into making sure that this place is a welcoming, peace-filled place for whoever comes.
Things were not so peaceful on Sunday night as members of the community and friends gathered to watch the final of the European Football Championship. It was between Spain and Italy and both nations were represented. At times a lot of noise was generated. However I am happy to say that, although everyone did not enjoy the match equally, there was no division in the European union!

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