Newday 2013 Review

Newday is the youth festival that nearly 7000 young people go to at Norfolk showground each year. This year being the 10th event was no different and an exciting time for our young people. Below are some highlights from one of our youth named Daniel.

My favorite moments include my tent jump, (see the youth newday review video coming soon), intense card games, and just hanging out with everyone and having a laugh. Newday is always the best week of the year for me and I wouldn’t miss it for anything.

I really enjoyed the new music this year, it seems to get better each time we go and I look forward to playing some of the new tunes in church! The worship at Newday is really inspiring and engaging, and God moves powerfully, so you can see the change afterwards both in yourself and in those around you. The teaching is also excellent, and really useful and applicable to the daily life of a youth.

The prayer night in particular was really good because when we all prayed together for the same things, (breakthrough in schools, missions going on abroad etc.), it was really powerful and inspiring. You could feel the presence of God in the room powerfully, and that was great.

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As part of the outreach we cut a large hedge in very wet conditions for an elderly man who couldn’t do it himself. Although it may not sound like much, with several thousand young people doing projects in many different areas across Norwich, it makes a real difference to how the community perceives both young people and Christianity, and brings the kingdom into those areas. Also, outreach is great fun, we have a laugh and do something really good at the same time, and it’s a win for everyone really.

I’d definitely recommend it to anyone, even if you’re not a Christian or you’re an adult thinking about serving, because not only does God do amazing things in people’s lives, but it’s also genuinely so much fun and we always have such a hilarious time. Don’t miss Newday 2014, it’s going to be awesome.

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Christianity in Britain : Part 2

Two case studies

Nicola

  • Is a non-practising Roman Catholic with a strong religious upbringing.
  • 50 years old
  • Married
  • Works full-time in the public sector.
  • Her Mum attends Mass daily.
  • Happy to admit that she is a Catholic but does not practise in any way.

She commented on never thinking about religion but said

you don’t sort of think about religion, and how you feel, as such. You don’t sort of sit there and think, ‘Oh I believe in this, and I believe…’ Until somebody is talking to you, or question you about it, or it comes up in conversation, and it comes out, ‘Oh crikey’, you know [ Laughter] it’s still there!

Nicola admits later on in the conversations that usually she tries not to think too much about life. She acknowledges the importance of her Catholic heritage, but prefers to keep busy rather than give herself permission to face the big question of existence.

She describes her belief in God like money in the bank for a rainy day

I know it sounds stupid, but it’s like having some money in the bank, at the back of you, if you ever need it. Not sort of the money that you can go into every day, but just some security there at the back or you, into time of crisis or if something goes wrong.

In Nicola’s minds, she still belongs to the institutional Church an insider even though she does not attend. This is a recurrent theme in the research conversation with those people who had some affiliation to the Church as children. They talk of the seed having been sown and of a sense that they cannot escape either God or religious belief; it is part of their inheritance.

 

Tom

  • In his 30’s
  • Married and works in a small firm
  • He had had virtually no contact institutional religion, only attending church for his own wedding
  • Tom enjoys leading ghost hunts in local woods and is adept at sensing atmospheres in people homes
  • His wife gets premonitions.
  • Both his grandmother and sister have had psychic experience and these experience where a normal part of his upbringing.

Tom shared an experience that he had only told his Mother and wife.

His father was seriously ill and Tom took him to hospital in the middle of the night. As he sat waiting for news of his father he experienced a sudden rush of warmth and a sense that someone was telling him everything was going to be all right.

Unlike talking about ghost hunts and spontaneous human combustion Tom embarrass to talk about what happened at the hospital.

Tom said – I don’t mind the idea of believing in something, if it’s there in my face and I know it’s there. But I haven’t been given any other any factual evidence and I go a lot for facts.

I get a little impulse to go into church building but I just shrug it off… Maybe, I want to believe. Maybe there’s a sense of something definite and concrete and maybe I’ve got the idea that if I go in at that moment, I might see something.

In next week’s blog we will look at a further case study.

Written by Sarah Hibbard – A Member of Hope Church

SarahH

Christianity in Britain : Part 1

In a previous blog Tony Thompson introduced us to academic research “Understanding the spirituality of people who don’t go to church. David Hay and Katie Hunt August 2000” in these series of blogs I will give greater detail of what is included in this research.

Overview

The D Hay and K Hunt research looked at people who were not regular church goers and ask them to share in detail their view about spiritual experiences. Criterions for the research were people who had no contact with the religious institution and yet considered themselves to be either spiritual or religious. They looked to greater detail at 50 people and choose to share information about 3 conversations that they had.

Their work strengthened Hay’s belief that spiritual awareness is a necessary part of our human make-up, biologically built into us, whatever our religious belief or lack of them.

Spiritual Experiences.

The most common type of experience reported in Britain is the recognition of a transcendent providence – a pattern of events in a person’s life that convinces them that in some strange way those events were meant to happen. 55% of people recognised this is their own lives.

90% increase in this trend over a 13 year period.

Many people feel they have been aware of the presence of God especially so at times of deep distressed.

38% of people said they were aware of God when very happy. 40% increase over 13 years.

In great unhappiness or fear many people, including those who are uncertain about God’s existence, turned to prayer for help. 37% felt that they had received such help. 40% increase on 13 year earlier.

A quarter of all the people interviewed feel they have been aware of an evil presence –a rise of 100%.

Possible reason for the increase

Greater social permission for such experience – there is a growing feeling that it is acceptable to admit such awareness – still most people feel deeply embarrassed about it.

Next week we will look at two case specific case studies.

Written by Sarah Hibbard – A Member of Hope Church

SarahH