A record 150 young people and 45 leaders from all over the Diocese of Down and Dromore packed Castlewellan Castle to the rafters for the annual Confirmation Youth Weekend.

The participants, from 19 different parishes, had an action packed weekend, from Friday night’s ‘alien invasion’ game through Saturday’s adventure sports including canoeing, laser tag, archery, soft arrow combat, climbing, extreme crafts, the scary maze and more! Of course the confirmation weekend wouldn’t be complete without the annual Saturday Night Live – boys verse girls competition, although the boys where the loudest the girls proved to have the competitive edge, the girls won by 5 points!  Saturday Night Live was followed by our annual ‘rave in the cave’ glow stick party, with our resident DJ Billy Fyffe. For the exhausted respite was offered in our movie room! canoe

The speaker for the weekend was Simon Henry, National Youth Officer for the Church or Ireland Youth Department. Simon was talking on the foundations of Christian faith – Jesus, prayer and the Bible – with a particular focus on Ephesians 2:10 “You are God’s masterpiece”. The small groups which where facilitated by the leaders, gave the young people the opportunity to explore these topics further discussing their importance for their lives. The weekend finished off with the annual group photo and video (see below).

Diocesan Youth Officer, Tim Burns, organiser of the weekend said, “we had a brilliant weekend, it was a lot of fun, the young people where fantastic and it was great to have so many leaders along who are passionate about spending time with young people and helping them meet Jesus. Simon encouraged us to understand the eternal importance of knowing Jesus and how we can grow in our relationship with him through prayer and the bible: he left us with a challenge to read the gospel of Mark In the run up to Easter. I have to say thank you to all the leaders that helped organise and run the weekend, all those that brought young people and the young people themselves, as well as the staff at Castlewellan and those who ran activities on Saturday, it really was a fantastic weekend!”