Youth Pilgrimage 2006
On Monday 7th August 2006 a group from St. Michael's set off bright and early on this year's Youth Pilgrimage. When we arrived at the campsite we put up our tents. That evening we had our first Mass, we were introduced to the ministry team and one young person from each group took up a lighted candle.
This year’s theme was Alive Again, which was all to do with Holy Week and Easter. Each morning at 9am there was a bible study led by Bishop Lindsay based on the second letter of St Paul to the Corinthians chapters 2, 3, and 5 which was very insightful.
On Tuesday morning we gathered in the grounds of the Roman Catholic Shrine for a short service and blessing of Palms before processing, barefoot, to the Anglican Shrine along the Holy Mile, being lead by a rather nervous donkey as we sang and waved our banner and Palms.
Once there we had another service. That afternoon was a free afternoon so we went to the beach. After supper we went back to the main Marquee for Mass where we now concentrated on Maundy Thursday with some people having their feet washed. After Mass we had a candle lit procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the Shrine. Seeing 700 teenagers and their leaders processing in silence with their candles was a very moving sight. When we got there we had benediction.
On Wednesday we
had our breakfast and were just washing up when a police car came into the
field with sirens going and lights flashing. Two policemen jumped out, arrested
one of vicars, handcuffed him and rushed off with him in the car – Jesus had
been arrested! They even announced it on Norfolk radio. During the morning Mass Jesus was put on
trial, Jerry Springer style.
That afternoon there was a choice of workshops for the children. These included meeting snakes, snails, spiders etc., crafts, drama, music, and sports. Our group then met at the Shrine where we had our First Visit, then went back to camp for Hot cross buns. We had cancelled supper to fast for Good Friday so the youngsters then went off for a bit of free time and were surprised when they arrived back to find a cooked meal waiting for them. Much to our surprise they had actually believed supper was cancelled!
That evening we had a Late Night Liturgy. When was the last time you had to queue to get into a service? We had to that night. We started off with competitions for loudest snorer, and the best camp cook. Then they acted out the crucifixion and we had Sprinkling and laying on of hands. We were all given a red ribbon when we entered the Marquee which we then laid on the cross, evoking a powerful affect. After that several prayer stations had been set up around the Marquee and you were free to stay and pray, or go to confession, or back to your camp.
Thursday morning we went to Mass to celebrate Easter. We had another free afternoon so we went swimming and then stopped off for fish and chips. That evening there was a talent show followed by a disco. Each group had been given a challenge; we didn’t take up our challenge of doing ‘Alice in Wonderland’ in the style of ‘You are what you eat’. But 25 groups took up their challenges and it was a really good evening. The best included ‘Doctor Who’ in the style of ‘Bill and Ben’ and ‘Little Britain’ in the style of ‘The X factor’.
Friday morning we had our last Mass, and said our goodbyes before taking down our tents and going to the Shrine for a Last Visit then leaving for home.