Summer Madness – ‘Thankful for the people I have met’

Wednesday July 6th 2016

Summer Madness 2016! More photos in our gallery - below.

Summer Madness 2016! More photos in our gallery – below.

Summer Madness is over for another year, and the young people from parishes across Connor Diocese had a fantastic time, despite the rain!

The Bishop of Connor, the Rt Rev Alan Abernethy, joined Summer Madness for a barbecue, and helped cook the burgers and sausages.

Diocesan Youth Officer Christina Baillie said: “A massive thank you to Bishop Alan for joining with and serving the young people and leaders for the BBQ on Sunday. It is great to have his support and see the young people engage with the Diocese. Words cannot express our gratitude to Canon Mark Taylor for his service and bringing together the groups of Connor through the ministry of food!

Thanks to the young people of St Michael’s & St Stephen’s for this report on Summer Madness 2016.

It’s total Madness!! but if you want your young people to experience the love and joy of meeting with Christ for the first time or to renew and enthuse their faith in the presence of over 1000 other young people, Summer Madness is the place to be. And if you are in Connor Diocese life is sweet – read on!  These are the stories of two young girls from St Michaels and St Stephens in Lower Shankill, Belfast.

Sophie’s story:  Madness, Summer Madness, started on 1st July 2016!! The days ahead were full of joy, worship and excitement. Our spirits weren’t dampened by all the rain.

To waken us up in the mornings there was worship and this year Bluetree and Stephen Mayes and his band led it. We took part in the Salt Factory Treasure Hunt and we literally walked a 10k marathon! We also went sailing IN THE RAIN!! We were absolutely saturated but the choppy waves made it even more fun.

After our adventure sailing the seas, we changed out of our saturated clothes and our saviour Canon Mark Taylor came to our rescue again and made us an amazing dinner which the whole Connor sub-camp enjoyed.

We made new friends from St Paul’s in Lisburn and we hope that these friendships last ages. Special thanks to our leaders Caroline and Heather for organising our life changing trip.  Of course we can’t forget the most important part of SM16 getting closer to God.  The worship and speakers were fantastic and the seminars were amazing.

Giselle’s story:  I think that Summer Madness was some of the best days of my life.  I made a decision to become a Christian during the worship on Saturday night.  I felt God surrounding us all in the big top tent, the atmosphere was unreal I really loved it and can’t wait for next year. 

Some of my favourite things at Summer Madness were the worship, the seminars and the Prayer Ministry Team.  The prayer team was outstanding! They talked to you about your faith and your Christian journey and they prayed.  They take time with you, I prayed with Isaac and in the seminar called ‘New Christians: following Jesus after Madness’ he took time to answer my questions thoroughly. 

I would like to thank God for these wonderful five days, it’s been unreal and I have loved every single second.  We learnt that we are all ‘One Family’ with God ‘Our Father’. We helped the young people at Summer Madness to raise money to buy bibles through ‘Open Doors’ for our brothers and sisters in Christ in countries where they are persecuted for their faith – we bought about 2,400 bibles which was amazing!!

 I’m so thankful for the people I’ve met and the time I have spent here, I will remember it forever. 

As leaders we appreciate all that Connor Diocese Youth Council do to make life so much easier for groups – Head Chef Mark Taylor produced super main meals on Sat, Sun and Monday – life is truly sweet when these meals are sorted for you and it’s a great way to bring all of the Connor youth together.  Many thanks to Christina our Diocesan Youth Officer, the Youth Council and Bishop Alan behind the BBQ in his ‘Ministry of Food’ T-shirt! Roll on SM17!!

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