Monday, October 28, 2013
Last Saturday the Vocations Team and a group of young adults they have gotten to know from Canterbury hired a minibus and made their way into London to take part in Nightfever at St Patrick's Church, Soho Square. Nightfever began in Cologne after the 2005 World Youth Day and has caught on in various cities across the worls since then. In the United Kingdom there is a national coordinator and it takes place regularly in London and Scotland with the number of venues increasing all the time.
The formula is very simple. As far as possible the Church is illuminated by candles and the Blessed Sacrament is exposed. Priests are available for confessions or simply to talk with whoever might want a conversation with them. Young people go out into the local streets in pairs holding a lantern and with a number of unlit candles. The approach passers by and invite them to light a candle in the Church. If people agree they are led up to the front, before the Blessed Sacrament, shown where to light the candle and invited to stay as long as they like.
It takes courage to approach complete strangers on the streets - and in Soho you never know what you will encounter - but slowly the Church began to fill up. Some people stayed for a few moments while others were there for much longer. By the time Fr Alexander gave benediction at 11pm the Church was filled with young adults who had come to Soho - a symbol of God's absence - looking for buzz and excitement and had found instead a deeper thrill that can only be given by the Lord's Real Presence.