Newday, the giant youth Christian festival, came to Norfolk
Christian youth event Newday saw more than 6000 young people attend a festival of music, entertainment and preaching in Norfolk.
First launched in 2004, the event appeared for the first time in Norwich at the Norfolk Showground on Saturday, 1 - Thursday, 6 August, 2009.
Newday aimed to bring God into young people's lives through social action.
"We wanted to bond a new generations of churchgoers," said Toby Skipper, organiser of Newday in Norwich.
"We wanted young people to come along and enjoy church. That might seem a weird thing to some people, but we're seeing more and more young people from teenagers into their 20s wanting to get closer to God," he added.
Thousands of young people
from Norfolk and across the UK descended upon Norwich for the six day festival, with highlights including music and preaching from Simon Bradling, Lou Fellingham, Adrian Holloway, Phatfish and Matt Redman.
Newday was set up by preacher Joel Virgo with a vision to restore the Church to a worldwide audience through the eyes of young people.
The event has been previously hosted in Nottingham and Derby, but it will now take place each year in Norwich until August 2011.
"Newday gathers around 6000 people and it's been growing for the last six years," said Toby, who is also an elder at King's Community Church in Norwich.
"It's a Christian event with a huge amount going on, from worship to live gigs, as well as young people going out and serving social action projects," he added.
The event is primarily aimed at young people between the ages of 12 and 19, as the stresses and strains of growing up can sometimes take their toll.
The social action projects are key to developing the selfless acts of God within young people.
"We want people to get their hands dirty and get involved in their communities by serving, helping and doing good for people," said Toby.
"Part of Newday is that people will go out and clean people's gardens, weed streets, paint fences, to ultimately grow up with a sense of achievement," he added.
Toby feels that the country's young people often receive too much bad publicity and that affects their morale and creates negative perceptions within society.
"The press that often comes through is the bad news stories and with Newday we want to show that Britain's youth can be a force for good and they want to do good," he said.
"Thousands of teenagers really do want to make a difference in the world," he added.
A way of dampening the yob image is through the community projects, of which Newday 2009 covered the length and breadth of Norfolk.
"Some of the projects took place in the Mile Cross and Catton areas of Norwich and we partnered with the local council and police to make it a success," said Toby.
"The volunteers asked residents whether they wanted things doing such as rubbish clearing and garden sorting, but we also looked at helping local parkland thrive.
Newday volunteers were out helping Norfolk's residents
"We branched out of the main city to help the surrounding areas and visited places like Dereham, Yarmouth, Attleborough and Wymondham," he added.
Newday also wanted festival attendees to enjoy themselves and music was seen as a major part of connecting with God.
"Music tends to connect with people in ways that just simple conversation cannot achieve. It's within everyone," said Toby.
"The gigs at every Newday host a variety of musical genres. The music is very powerful and sounds that are contemporary and in a style that young people can relate to and understand is very important," he added.
Newday took place at the Norfolk Showground, Norwich, between Saturday, 1 and Thursday, 6 August, 2009.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.