Mid Norfolk Christian youth festival expands
Over the May half term 130 young people came to camp, worship, engage in large scale water fights and learn about following Jesus from a host of Christian speakers at the exciting and expanding Intents Youth Festival on a farm in Mid Norfolk. Sequoia Mallett reports
For the first time in its six year history the 2016 Intents Youth Festival held at the picturesque Brandon House farm in rural Mid Norfolk, near Mattishall expanded to run a second ‘Week B’. Over the May half term holiday ‘Week A’ of Intents took place on Friday, May 27 – Monday, May 30 followed by ‘Week B’ from Wednesday, June 1 – Saturday, June 4. Here Sequoia Mallet, from the Intents team, reports on this expanding and exciting local Christian youth festival.
In June last year, when we decided to expand Intents 2016 to run twice over the May Bank Holiday half term to accommodate growing numbers of young people, the prospect of a ‘Week B’ was exciting. In January, when preparations began, it was starting to become daunting.
By the time we reached ‘Week A’, it seemed entirely impossible that we would make it through one Intents, let alone two! Yet, when the dust settled at 6.45pm, on Saturday, June 4, we knew that we had done absolutely the right thing, as we rested in God’s grace and reflected on a week of callings found, gifts released, strongholds broken and children saved.
Over the two four-day long sessions, 12 youth groups including around 130 delegates, 22 different speakers and 45 dedicated members of team all came together to worship, grow in faith, and have fun on the small farm in Mattishall, through seminars, worship meetings, craft, and wide games.
Through sunshine in Week A, and buckets of rain in Week B, delegates, youth leaders and team alike enjoyed seminars on a wide variety of topics covering many aspects of following Jesus. Both the most seasoned veterans of youth camps, and those with no experience of Jesus or Christianity were well occupied! Seminars ranged from the stripped back basics of ‘Who is Jesus?’ and ‘Holy Spirit 101’, to more complex issues of ‘Thinking with a Heavenly Mind’ and ‘Prophetic Activation’.
The evening speakers combined with worship and the very important notices brought the whole campsite together at the end of each day with a time for teaching and reflection as a community. As speakers were given wide freedom to choose, these sessions covered everything from ‘Fear’ to just simply ‘The Holy Spirit’, and were engaging for all in their simplicity and enthusiasm.
The evening sessions all ended with a time of ministry and prayer, during which many children experienced the Holy Spirit in new ways, some for the very first time. We were blessed to witness children speaking in tongues, prophesying over others and the team, and, perhaps most notably, 27 young people giving their lives to God.
As well as the many wonderful speakers, and the incredible movements of the Holy Spirit, both sessions also welcomed the Via Beata project back, enabling delegates in the quieter moments of the weekend to create a brick mural to be placed alongside a Christian cross country walking trail.
For the thrill-seekers, the Intents Games Team also organised a large scale water fight on both weeks and night games with Jonathan Richardson, Children, Youth and Families Development Officer for the Diocese of Norwich. And with help from the Ministry of Joy, there were dodgeball tournaments and the ever popular Nerf arena - both of which saw the Team triumph over the Young Team in the resolution of an age old grudge match!
All in all, despite our initial worries about following the call for two sessions this year, God once again moved in a massive way during Intents 2016, reminding us of His love and power over our lives, in new and exciting ways. It therefore feels safe to say that a good time was had by all, rain or shine, and that we’re looking forward to doing it all again next year!
Intents 2017 will take place over two sessions. Week A: 26th to 29th of May, and Week B: 31st May to 3rd of June. Youth leaders booking in before the end of June will receive an earlybird discount for their entire youth group.
More information can be found on www.intents.org.uk or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.