About the event
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We’re excited to announce that the biggest Catholic youth event in the UK is returning to London, as CYMFED organise Flame 2023.
Many exciting speakers will be present and the day is expected to be a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our shared faith on a grand scale.
As with last time, we here at Westminster Youth Ministry have reserved hundreds of tickets for those in the diocese and will be selling them to anyone interested for the reduced early-bird price of £18.
Flame 2023 theme: beLoved
Consider the ways we might respond when someone asks, “Who are you?” or when we ask ourselves, “Who am I?”
Perhaps we respond by remembering the great things people have said about us: my friends say I’m kind; I’m loyal; I have the best sense of humour; people tell me how good I am to be around and how they would love to be more like me. Thus, we tell ourselves and the people we meet that we are what people say about us.
We may answer with our achievements: I have this BTEC, or these GCSEs or A-levels; I am captain of this sports team; I have achieved this grade in music; I can programme a computer to this level. Thus, we tell others and ourselves that we are the things we do.
Or we may reply by showing the questioner the things we possess: I have this type of phone; this type of smartwatch; I wear these brands of clothes. Thus, we suggest to others and ourselves that we are what we have.
Contrast all of that with the tremendous and beautiful truth of Divine creation, powerfully expressed when God the Father names Jesus as “Beloved,” at the very moment when Jesus in His baptism comes up from the River Jordan; as the clouds open and the Holy Spirit swoops down, like a dove, the voice of God comes from the heavens saying, ‘this is my Beloved, in whom I am well pleased’
Our Flame2023 theme is infused with this understanding, and rooted in this moment of Scripture. We are all the sons and daughters of God, made in God’s image and likeness; we are all beloved. But it seems harder and harder for many of us, especially our young people, to know this fundamental truth of life: who we are, is “beloved.” Who we are is not what others say about us, what we do or what we have.
And – unlike reality TV – the love in which we believe is not the result of winning a competition for attention, or looks, or anything else. Who we are, is “beloved” – we are beloved by the very act of God creating us, an act of unconditional love.
In our theme title you will also see a capital “L”, which emphasises God as Love, and also allows the theme to be read as “be loved.” This is not a command, of course – no-one can command another to “be loved” any more than we can command another person to love us. With true love comes perfect freedom. However, if we are far from understanding ourselves as beloved then we need a pathway, and that starts with simply letting ourselves be loved, knowing that we are worthy of love, and relaxing into the love God has for us. From “beLoved” we move to seeing ourselves as “beloved.”
We hope that this will be the journey for young people during Flame2023; in amongst all the natural energy, joy, vibrancy and wonderful atmosphere that characterises 10,000 young people gathered for Flame, we hope that the powerful speakers, exceptional music, times of prayer and reflection – including Adoration – will stir hearts and minds, and most especially will infuse young people, and those accompanying them, with the profound truth that they who they are, from the very fact of their creation, is God’s beloved – a truth to sustain all of us, throughout our lives. Thank you, their teacher, priest, catechist, youth leader or parent. As you prepare to bring a group of young people to Flame2023 your time, effort and dedication matters very deeply, and it is greatly appreciated by the whole Flame team.