From quality food to outrageous games, from great discussions to singing God’s praise, from water fights to quiet reflection – the Connor Takes the Castle Weekend had it all!
Connor Youth Council welcomed groups from across the diocese to the fantastic Castlewellan Castle to share in the fun from September 2-4.
Stephen Whitten, Church Army Evangelist with the North Belfast Centre of Mission, and Christina Baillie, Connor Diocesan Youth Officer, led the sessions on the theme of fear and speaking God’s truth into our fears.
Christina said: “We decided to speak on this topic as fear can be such a common emotion but can be really difficult to talk about. Fearfulness can stop us living our lives fully for God but we wanted the young people to understand how God’s perfect love casts out fear and how we all can claim the promise of being a child of God.
“The sessions were made up of interactive activities, worship, discussion and bible study which the young people engaged with really well.”
For the rest of the weekend, the young people took part in Fear Factor games which included some strange or scary activities.
There were competitive games on Saturday culminating in the grand finale of Connor’s Got Talent which had all the young people involved in acting out a skit with some incredible performances. Even in the midst of the rain, the young people enjoyed a water fight and slip & slide!
In their feedback on the weekend, young people from St Patricks, Coleraine, said: “We had a great time at Castlewellan Castle. It was good to be able to have time to sing about God and learn more about Him that was just for us.
“One of the things that we enjoyed most about Castlewellan was the opportunity to go somewhere together as a youth group and to get to make new friends with people from other groups. We just really enjoy things like this that give us a chance to go away together and learn about God. We would highly recommend that everyone try to go to events like this.”
Christina said: “Thanks to Connor Youth Council for all the hard work put into organising the weekend. Thank you to all the leaders for bringing their young people along. A massive thanks to Kate Peden and Adam Girvin from St Jude’s, Muckamore for leading our worship so wisely throughout the weekend, and to Matthew Cairns for the incredible audio/visuals!”
She added: “We already can’t wait until next year!”