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Christian youth festival Newday in full swing 

9,000 people descended on the Norfolk Showground to attend Newday, a Christian youth festival featuring teaching, worship, fun and games. Thousands of teenagers are hearing the gospel for the first time, and others are deepening their faith.


There is row upon row of tents set up across the Norfolk showground, with flags flying to mark which church occupies each pitch. Volleyball nets and football goals are set up in the grassy space between them, and there is a buzz of excited teenagers emerging from seminars on topics such as ‘what’s the point of prayer?’ ‘Is Christianity a white man’s religion?’ and ‘no sex ’til I’m married?’

Groups from hundreds of churches from across the country set up camp and are soaking up the summer festival atmosphere from 31st July – August 5. All groups have youth leaders with them, plus people to help with catering – often volunteers from the church. Many of the young people are ‘church kids’ who have grown up around the Christian faith, and Newday is an exciting opportunity for them to learn more in an environment totally geared to their age-group, worship independently, and possibly make a deeper commitment. Sue Parker is on the ‘New to Newday’ team and she welcomes groups who are at Newday for the first time and helps them settle in. She also reaches out to groups who want to know more about the event. 

A picture came to Sue as she was praying that many of the young people are standing in mud (a real possibility given the rain!), but this was a spiritual picture where young people are on slippery, soft foundations and they need God’s help to stand on concrete instead. She said, “My prayer is that the kids will know that they are concrete in their faith.”

Thousands of the young people at Newday are ‘unchurched’ – they might be connected to a youth club in their local area, but the concept of meeting with Jesus is new. A group of young people took part in the ‘what’s the point of prayer?’ seminar, and to their youth worker’s delight began to explain to their wider group what they had learnt and how to pray. These young people have not yet made a commitment to God, but are newly discovering that they can talk with Him.

Some people find structure difficult or large groups overwhelming, and the Engage team supports those fringes of the event. This team is made up of youth workers and professionals who have a passion to see those on the edge get integrated into the event and leave with a greater attachment to their church youth group.

Young people are divided into age groups (12 – 14s and 15 – 18s) with this year’s speakers Andrew Wilson and Taylor Bentliff. They can then choose seminars that interest them, one of which is Youth Alpha. It is believed that 2023 has seen the biggest Youth Alpha gathering ever – with 1,250 people attending the sessions. 

The afternoon is for free time – and there are dozens of activities on offer, including basketball, dodgeball, football, crazy golf, VR gaming, workshops and prayer zones.

Each evening everyone meets all together in the Big Top for the evening meeting at 7pm. When that has finished, there’s even more for those who still have energy with live gigs, cafes and sports continuing.

If anyone would like to find out more please contact Sue Parker from the New to Newday Team on 07906 837337 or [email protected]


Photo by Joel Harris, who spoke about mental health

Read the full article here

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