We believe that World Youth Day 2022 should take place in Britain, with the main events and closing Mass in London. And we'll be there! Visit and LIKE the WYD London 2022 page here to support the cause:
We could put on the best WYD there has ever been. Why? Because of the faith and energy of young Catholics here, the sense of renewal and hope within the Catholic Church in this country, the pull of the English language, and the attraction of Britain as a destination for visitors. WYD 2016 will be in Krakow; WYD 2019 will probably be outside Europe; and so by 2022 it will be time to come to Britain! It seems like a long way off, but time passes quickly, and it will take a lot of planning ahead.
WYD London would revitalise the Church and be an incredible witness to the people of this country. It would be a truly national event, bringing together every Catholic diocese, parish, group and movement. It wouldn't distract from other important pastoral priorities - instead it would provide a Focus and stimulus for them. The period of planning and preparation would galvanise the Church at national and local levels. The ‘Days in the Dioceses', in the week before WYD itself, would be a celebration of faith throughout the regions, with hundreds of thousands of international young pilgrims welcomed into parishes and families across Britain. And there could be an important ecumenical dimension too, with Catholics and other Christian communities cooperating in hospitality, witness and celebration.
London would be the focus for the main WYD events and closing Mass. Why? Not because of some unthinking ‘London-centric’ prejudice in favour of the capital, but simply because of the practical advantages. London has the venues, the infrastructure, the transport, the public spaces - the sheer size; and it will have the experience of dealing with the Olympics. In the three dioceses that converge there (Westminster, Southwark and Brentwood), it has the greatest number of Catholic parishes and movements, the richest concentration of Catholic life, and an incomparable diversity of people and communities. And it has a unique pull in the international imagination. It would be ‘London uniting the country and opening out to the world’, rather than ‘London excluding the regions’.
Yes, there would be significant costs. But unlike Pope Benedict's visit to the UK in 2010, WYD would pay for itself. If just half a million pilgrims register (a conservative estimate), and the fee is just £50, that's £25m to start with, even before the serious fundraising has begun. And despite the misgivings of some, no-one seriously doubts that this kind of event brings massive economic benefits to the host country. The Papal visit, for example, brought an £8.5m boost to Glasgow alone; and a £12.5m boost to Birmingham. According to an independent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, WYD Madrid brought 354m Euros to Spain, and there are similar predictions for Rio [see links below]. This is one reason why the British Government and Mayor of London will surely be interested in it. But there would be deeper reasons are well: the opportunity of hosting what is perhaps the largest youth event in the world, of opening our doors to people from every corner of the earth, and of putting young people at the centre of The National agenda.
At the moment, this is an off-the-cuff, un-thought-out, testing-the-water kind of proposition. It began in the parks and cafes of Madrid at WYD 2011, when thousands of young people from the UK began to think ‘We could do this!’ It continued in a World Youth Day London 2016 Facebook Event, before Krakow was announced, which had 2,900 potential attendees - it's now been closed! And it continues now through this new WYD London 2022 Event.
So if you want to see it move forward, INVITE YOUR FRIENDS - TODAY!!
What do you think? Post your own comments, suggestions, criticisms, links, etc. in the box below.
You can see the Krakow page here:
Report about effects of Papal visit on Glasgow's economy:
Report about the effects of Papal visit on Birmingham's economy:
Report about the economic benefits of WYD Madrid to Spain:
Report about the expected economic benefits of WYD to Rio: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/world-youth-day-expected-to-boost-economy-in-rio-de-janeiro/
[Flag image from http://www.fotopedia.com/items/flickr-2695490118]
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