We are pleased to invite you to this year's youth festival, which through God's grace is happening in person again after the last two years when we were forced onto Zoom. We will meet during the Queen's Jubilee weekend, 3-5 June at the Othona Community, a lovely nature reserve in Essex by the sea.
We are created in the image and likeness of God, Eucharistic beings; created for communion with God and with one another — as Christian communities, but also on a personal level, in relation to our Neighbours, our spouses, children, parents and all of humanity. The focus of this year’s festival is to look more deeply at the various aspects of communion and speak about what we can do to align our lives with these ideals, in receiving the Holy Gifts, through prayer, the Saints, Church services, in our communities, but also in our personal lives and in relation to those outside the Church.
We have great speakers lined up who will share their wisdom on this topic with us. On Friday we will hear from Archpriest Stephen Platt and Fr. Alexander Tefft and on Saturday from His Eminence Archbishop Nikitas and Marina Robb. In addition to the talks, you can expect daily Matins and Vespers, nice strolls by the seaside, a beach campfire, Divine Liturgy on Sunday, and other social activities you can take part of if you would like, but also plenty of free time to just enjoy the surroundings and relax or sit around and talk to others attendees.
You can view the full programme here.
Thank you to everyone who registered, we are looking forward to having a great time with you all!
With love in Christ,
The Festival Committee
Madalina, Noriko, Andreas and Joachim
We are a group of young adult (18-35+) Orthodox Christians who meet throughout the year for prayer and fellowship in order to better know our faith and each other. We organise different events throughout the year around the UK so that everyone can be involved.
Events are organised by the OFSJB Youth Committee, part of the Orthodox Fellowship of St John the Baptist (OFSJB), registered charity 1063713.
If you would like to support our work in the UK, please consider becoming a member of the fellowship or giving a small donation.
When free from Covid-19 restrictions, we organise several in-person events throughout the year. These include the following:
Our main event in the year, usually happening on one of the May Bank Holiday weekends out in the countryside. The festival is 3-4 days full of interesting talks by a variety of speakers (bishops, priests, monks, nuns and accasionally academics and laity as well) based around a common theme. Some of the other activities you can expect include walks, bonfire nights, sports, games and more (and you are free to skip the ones not appealing to you)! There is also plenty of "unorganised" time for personal conversations both with the speakers and with other attendees.
Following quick on the heels of summer's end, we go for a hike in the beautiful peaks of Snowdonia and stay overnight in a cozy little cottage. It is a great opprotunity to get some exercise and breathe in some fine clean moutain air. Spaces are limited for this event because of the sleeping arrangements, so watch for the announcement if you are keen to go.
Originally conceived as the annual catch-up meeting after the year's festival, Octofest has since evolved into a proper event of its own. Everyone is welcome, whether they attended the festival or not. Often, around half of the people hadn't attented the festival, so no need to fear to be out of the loop with everyone else knowing each other. Commonly we start with a celebration of the Divine Liturgy, followed by a talk by the local priest and some food, music and games.
To stave off the winter depression, we head out to the Christmas markets to enjoy some ice-skating and a warm hearty meal (also possibly some mulled wine). Fuzzy feelings of warmth and friendship are to be expected.
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