Independent Catholic News
Just a mile from the Olympic Park - the Joshua Camp - for anyone 18 years old and over, offers the chance to live alongside and experience the greatest party Britain has ever known, from 1 - 13 August. A partnership between the Catholic Bishops’ Office for the 2012 Games, the Sion Community, the European network RELaY and the churches’ ecumenical charity More Than Gold, the Joshua Camp will be a ‘mini-World Youth Day’ with speakers, music, catechesis and much more.
Missionary teams are already committed to attend from 13 different countries including the USA and Australia, Poland and Lithuania,. African music groups will come from Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. The invitation to come and join the party is gradually making its way across Britain. James Parker, Catholic Executive Coordinator of the 2012 Games, said: “The 9,000 plus attendees at CYMFed’s memorable Flame Congress at Wembley Arena in March got a taste of how exciting the Catholic faith can be. This same joy will be mirrored at The Joshua Camp with each day building on the previous one. We have plans in place for past and present Olympians and Paralympians to also come along and make guest appearances.”
During the camp, participants will receive training and catechesis each morning to help them respond to possibilities for mission. They will also receive formation to become more confident in living out their faith before others, prior to heading out as teams to support projects across London where service and hospitality will be required.
The camp will thrive on a spiritual life of daily Mass, worship and Eucharistic Adoration throughout the night, and is already bringing together Catholic groups, communities and religious from across Britain and the entire globe. There will also be the opportunity to share and develop a whole myriad of talents from music to drama, dance and art, and of course a sporting aspect as well.
James Parker, Catholic Executive Coordinator of the 2012 Games, is keen to encourage more Catholics from Britain and Ireland to come and be a part of this unique occasion: “London and its neighbouring counties will be awash with hundreds of thousands of people flooding through the streets giving Christians many opportunities to put into operation service and hospitality.” he said.
“Similar to the lead-up to World Youth Day, there are hundreds of people across the globe counting down the days before they fly to London to experience The Joshua Camp. Many of Britain’s towns and cities have now had a taste of the forthcoming Games courtesy of the Olympic Torch’s journey. The Games promise to be vibrant, upbuilding and a slice of history not to be missed. We want to offer any Catholic adult the fullest possible experience of the Games continuously lived out over 8 to 13 days. We particularly do not want to see the British and Irish churches miss out on this rare opportunity.
“Catholics in previous host nations continue years later to grieve over their failure to engage with the Games on their doorstep. We don’t want anyone across Britain and Ireland to make the same lament once the Games have left town."
"Prices beginning at £60 for non-residents without meals ranging up to £193 for full board over the entire camp’s duration. This puts costs at significantly less than one night in many of London’s hotels.
"Registrations are only open for another few weeks at: http://www.thejoshuacamp.com so we are encouraging as many people as possible to plan ahead, sign up and get involved.”