The Youth Festival is an annual event for young adults (18-35) from around the world. Speakers and attending clergy this year include: Metropolitan Silouan of the British Isles and Ireland, Archimandrite Philip Hall, Sister Vassa, Fr Alexander Tefft, Carsten, and others. Talks and discussions will be on the theme of dealing with passions and temptations in our daily lives.
Location: St Mark's College, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB11 4JD, UK
Dates: Friday 26th May - Monday 29th May 2017
As this year's ascent of Snowdon draws ever nearer, it's time to spread the word!
It's always over too quickly! This year's festival has already come and gone, with around 30 Orthodox young people coming together over 26th-30th May around the theme of 'Vocations & Spiritual Guidance: Finding our way in Christ'. Attendees came from far and wide: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the South Coast and even from France. It was also encouraging to see that for many of those present it was the first time they'd come to the annual festival, or indeed to any Orthodox youth event, which underlines the importance of continuing to reach out to local parishes across the UK to raise awareness of the festival and other events.
We benefitted from a number of excellent talks from our speakers this year and we're very grateful to Fr. Alexander, Fr. Seraphim, Mother Sarah, Fr. Melchisedec & Fr. Dionysius as well as to Sr. Silouani for her attendance and to Fr. Philip for his continued sponsorship of the festival. The talks have been recorded and are available to watch on YouTube. There are separate videos for the talks and for the Q&A sessions after each, all the recordings can be found here:
Given the topic of 'vocations' many of the talks cover practical aspects of Christian life and there were some very good questions from the audience, it's definitely worth watching the videos if you have not already. In addition to the talks we're grateful to Mother Sarah for the session on praying the hours, in which we learnt the structure and basics of the prayers for the first, third and sixth hours.
As we do each year when we are at the Dovedale venue, we visited the spring of St. Bertram and blessed the waters (photos above). We also prayed evening prayers and supplicatory canon to the Mother of God at the shrine of St. Bertram, as well as a Liturgy on the Sunday in same the Church. Having several clergy present also meant all those who wanted to were able to have a confession heard or have a private conversation with a priest at some point during the weekend.
We were very much blessed with the weather this year, which meant plenty of opportunities for walks in the beautiful countryside that surrounds Dovedale House. After the blessing of the waters, a group of us walked up to the top of the surrounding hills for picnic and to enjoy the stunning views. The next day some of us took short journey by car down to an area where you can take a dip in the river that runs through the village of Ilam... and indulge in some ice cream from the local cafe!
A big thank you goes to everyone who attended, to our speakers, to the staff at Dovedale House for their warm welcome and to everyone who made the event possible. The festival also relies on the support of fundraising, so thank you also to everyone who brought books for the bookstall and to all those who purchased a book or otherwise made a donation. Next year's festival is already planned for May 2017 and you can expect to hear more about it soon!
Who are We?
We are a group of young (18-35ish) Orthodox Christians who meet throughout the year to pray and have fellowship in order to better know our Faith and each other. We organise lots of different events so that everyone can be involved.
Events are organised by the OFSJB Youth Committee, a subset of the Orthodox Fellowship of St John the Baptist (OFSJB).