Portsmouth Diocese E-News

Fanning the Flame Summer Camp 2018



3rd September 2018


Benedict Nichols, Summer Camp coordinator writes...


A few weeks ago the annual Fanning The Flame Summer Camp came together in the New Forest for a wonderful week of faith, fun and fellowship. With 100 young people and 38 helpers in attendance over the 5 days, 9 dioceses were represented with people coming from far and wide to give a true flavour of the Universal Catholic Church*.


The young people had a joyful week, filled with much laughter and fun, and were inspired by fantastic teaching from Sr Hyacinthe O.P, who looked at the different stages of St Paul’s life, and their relevance to our lives as Christians today. The camp also split into dedicated stream times each ay, where age-appropriate teaching was delivered by a gifted team of catechists. There was plenty of opportunity to re-focus their lives on Christ, with daily prayer, adoration and celebration of the sacraments in supportive fellowship. Many of the young people had powerful experiences in confession, followed by a blessed time of healing with the Blessed Sacrament. Our thanks to the 14 priests who gave up their time for the young people!

Other activities in the week included a range of workshops (from stain-glass window-making and pottery to football, using social media, horse riding, and a walk in the forest) and there was plenty of time to relax and enjoy each others company. A highly entertaining God Concert on the Thursday evening revealed a huge amount of talent amongst the young people, and it was wonderful to see the love and support that everyone offered each other, both in that time and throughout the week.

A few quotes from the young people:

           “FTF is the best! There is so much freedom and fun here. A great chance to meet new people and make new friends and best of all

            meet God in a safe place.”

            “It was a very fun week but needs to be longer! I had lots of fun.”

            “A time of grace with so many unexpected blessings.”

            “Highlight of my summer.”


            “I am enlightened. Now I want to go to Mass often, I never liked it before.”


            “It was incredible…a great experience…we need more days!”


Our deep thanks to Fr Jeremy Garratt, our summer camp Chaplain, who willingly gave up a week to be with us again. He was joined by newly ordained Augustinian Fr Gladson, and together their passion for the Eucharist and encouragement of the young people to stand up for their faith, ablaze in the truth, was inspiring. Many of the camp were fortunate to receive Fr Gladson’s special first blessing. Our thanks also to newly ordained Deacon Gregory Cook who joined us on Tuesday and gave powerful witness, sharing the story of his call to holiness with many.

Special thanks to the Youth Team that came together the weekend before to help prepare the camp, and who worked so well with the young people.  Without them the camp would not have been as good as it was. Their commitment, enthusiasm and way of working with every individual on camp was a true testament to the love of God working powerfully in the Church.


Many thanks to the entire team, for all their handwork with the young people and behind the scenes; to all those who supported the camp, and to all those who prayed for its success. It was a truly blessed time with a great collection of young people, who will hopefully remember their experiences, and what they learnt, for the year ahead. Please pray that they stay “Ablaze In The Truth”!

Next year’s camp: 19th-23rd Aug 2019. Booking opens January 2019. See you there! 

*The following areas were represented: Southampton, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Poole, Christchurch, Devon, Reading, Windsor, Eastleigh, Didcot, Abingdon, Park Gate, Fareham, Stockport, Manchester, Swindon, Bath, Leamington Spa, Stratford upon Avon, Hereford, Ledbury, Cardiff, Toulouse (France)






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