Young people catch the fire at Campfire Festival
Christian youthwork in Norfolk made a remarkable comeback this summer as several churches teamed up to launch the Campfire Festival.
“Summer festivals have often been such a key component of building young people’s faith,” said Pete Skivington, youth pastor at Lighthouse Community Church in Sheringham, who helped to plan the event. “With the majority of the main Christian youth events again cancelled this year, I was really keen our young people didn’t miss out for a second consecutive year.”
Pete contacted Adam Jackson from St Stephen’s in Norwich, who said that the Intents Festival wouldn’t be taking place, but that his parents’ farm in mid Norfolk would be available if they wanted to use it. They both agreed it would be great to put something on and so got in touch with other interested youth workers to see if they could plan something.
About half a dozen churches from different denominations partnered in putting the event on, mostly from Norfolk but also travelling from Boston and Hertfordshire. All the planning meetings were on zoom, so several of the people met for the first time in person at the event itself. Volunteers provided catering for the sixty or so people who came.
Brandon House Farm, where the event took place, provided plenty of adventure for the young people, with a large camping field, a converted barn for the meetings, a thatched round house, a yurt, a three-story cabin on stilts over a pond, compost toilets and of course a campfire. There were opportunities for football and croquet and, for the less sporty, prayer knotting and bracelet making.
“The idea was an opportunity for a smaller-scale, low-key, organic event,” said Pete, “with different Christian youth groups getting together to hang out in a field for a few days and gather round the campfire to worship.
“We wanted young people to be able to enjoy sports, water fights, good food, card games, cafe, deepen friendships and make new ones as they connected with each other and God.
We hope that they leave having caught the Holy Spirit’s fire in a fresh way and passionate to serve Jesus and His purposes.”
Pictured above is the campfire at Brandon House Farm (top), Adam Jackson in the roundhouse (centre) and a worship session in the barn (bottom)