The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Newday delegates say 'We love Norfolk'

Thousands of young people came from across the UK to the Royal Norfolk Showground, at the beginning of August for the ninth Newday festival, to worship Jesus, learn from His word and show His love through community projects. Young delegate Dan Venn reports.

NewDay13Crowd450Newday is a Christian event where young people of a variety of backgrounds, aged 12-19, all come together in one place to meet with God, one another and enjoy a exciting week in a Christian environment some may have never experienced before. Delegates spend a week attending meetings and seminars, going on Outreach Projects, playing sport and building relationships with new people.
They all have one thing in common: their love for Jesus.
However, to the innocent delegate, rolling up on the Monday morning, all is not as easy as it seems. Hundreds of willing, servant-hearted volunteers embark on transforming the Showground into a Newday paradise, days before the first delegates jump off their coaches onto their campsite.
Whether it be the dancing Global Café servers preparing their infamous milkshakes, or the unsung heroes of the ‘Carpet Team’ gaffer taping away, all should be appreciated and thanked enormously.
By Monday afternoon, cafes were running for the week, delegates were arriving, and anticipation of another exciting chapter of Newday’s life was about to begin.
On a full day, after every morning meeting, age-catered seminars took place with topics such as sex, dating, homosexuality and forgiveness all covered this year. The young people who are exposed to the world’s views on a daily basis are given the Bible’s views on these fragile issues.
Then, after heading back to camp, polishing off some sandwiches and crisps, many will take the opportunity to check out the wide range of cafes Newday provides.
Among them - Global Café is dedicated to mission around the world and connecting people from across the nations… plus their tasty milkshakes! Next door is Retro Café which gives delegates an old school vibe, this year adding hot dogs to their menu!
Newday13LoveNorfolk450Other activities include hair straightening in The Pink Bar, Nerf Arena in The Gents, plus live music in the Lime Lounge, and a range of sports tournaments on the Sports Field.
As the evening meeting approaches, nearly 7,000 people pile into the Big Top for a night of worship and teaching.
This year Newday was graced by the musical talents of Simon Brading and Jules Burt and the wisdom of preachers Joel Virgo, Andrew Wilson, Stef Liston, Tope Koleoso, Adrian Holloway and Darrell Tunningly, among others.
The latter captivated the young Newday audience, on the Wednesday evening, with his story of how he came from prison to know Jesus through the persistence and boldness of two “older than Yoda” retired nuns.
He said, “Time with Jesus, builds your faith, which leads to boldness that produces results.” He went on to speak about issues that stop people from living a life for Jesus - “You can’t beat it… all you do is surrender it, to Jesus, and he will snap it right up… it will have no power over you.”
Throughout the week, an army of 2,000 grace-giving red t-shirts took over Norfolk, and served the community on outreach projects organised by Newday. One car-washing delegate said: “We’re all about God’s grace, and grace is about giving freely, so if we can give freely to other people they can know God’s love.”
WhoCaresLaunchStage450Over the years Newday has continued to grow outwards into surrounding communities.  Through the new ‘Who Cares?’ initiative, next year Newday seeks to reach out even further across Norfolk.

Toby Skipper, an elder at Kings Community Church, Norwich said, “The seeds that you’ve (Newday delegates) sown into communities, people know the red t-shirts. We and you are going to enable church communities across this county to engage with people, maybe who have never even considered the Christian faith. Maybe have never considered that the Church even cares. Maybe never considered that actually young people like yourselves care and want to make a difference in our world.”
Newday doesn’t just come and go in a week; it wants to leave an everlasting mark of God’s love on the county and next year promises to impact Norfolk like never before.

Read more about Who Cares?

Pictured above , from top are the Newday Big Top, evening worship, social action around Norfolk and the Who Cares? launch.

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