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Join us on Saturday 4 March 2023 at The SSE Arena, Wembley for the largest Catholic gathering of young people in England and Wales, the Flame Congress!

Bookings will open in early 2022. Stay tuned for updates.

“The tremendous and beautiful truth of Divine creation is powerfully expressed when God the Father names Jesus as “Beloved,” at the very moment when Jesus in His baptism comes up from the River Jordan; as the clouds open and the Holy Spirit swoops down, like a dove, the voice of God comes from the heavens saying, ‘this is my Beloved, in whom I am well pleased’

Our Flame2023 theme is infused with this understanding, and rooted in this moment of Scripture. We are all the sons and daughters of God, made in God’s image and likeness; we are all beloved. But it seems harder and harder for many of us, and especially our young people, to know this fundamental truth of life: who we are, is “beloved.” Who we are is not what others say about us, what we do or what we have.”

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The Flame Planning Team is full of people who regularly bring groups to events, and arrange events for young people. These FAQs hopefully cover the information that you need at the time of booking; as Flame draws nearer you will receive a comprehensive booklet of “event guidance” to help you with all the practicalities of the day.

If we can help you with any questions, at any time, please email and we will get back to you as soon as possible. In the week prior to Flame , and on the day, there will also be an emergency mobile contact in case of any last-minute problems or concerns.

Flame is open to everyone aged school Year 9 (usually 14 years old) through to University age. Typically there are large numbers of Year 10s, 11s and Sixth Formers, as well as University students.

Please note: The nature of the day and the content means that it is not suitable for those in Year 8 or younger. The nature of the Arena means that very young children are not permitted under any circumstances.

The Flame Congress is comprehensively risk assessed; the nature of the venue, and the scale of the event, mean that these Risk Assessments run into hundreds of pages. The venue has its own set of risk protocols, which we follow, and all equipment is provided by a Production Company that is commercially contracted and which also has its own risk protocols, with every piece of kit, the way it is placed on the stage, and all other aspects of the day fully risk assessed. Clearly it is impossible to provide groups with this level of detail, and we therefore produce a booklet of event guidance for Group Leaders, which includes the key information that you need to produce a Risk Assessment. You will naturally have to Risk Assess your own travel and group arrangements.

Flame is a Catholic event but of course the day is open to those of all faiths and none – the content has a strong Catholic ethos, and some explicitly Catholic moments of prayer such as Adoration, but one of the aims of the day is especially to help those who may not be engaged with faith to be open to a new vision of what a young, vibrant, active and inclusive Church can look like. The speakers are briefed to pitch their content in a way which is accessible to those who may not attend Mass regularly, or at all – in lots of ways this is an ideal event for those “on the edges.” Feedback from group leaders in previous years has shown us that a day at Flame Congress can raise a lot of questions about faith, and fresh insights, which can be the beginning of a wonderful journey back in the school or parish.

The minimum group size is 10, and that must include at least two adults (over 18, DBS checked, and with specific responsibility for the group). In line with Local Authority guidelines, we recommend one additional adult for every 10-15 additional young people, depending on the age and needs of the group. No young person can come unaccompanied, and no-one can attend who is not part of a group. This is part of the way we maintain appropriate Safeguarding and Health and Safety procedures. A group must be linked to a parish, school, or other recognised organisation, and we will monitor this as part of the booking procedure.

The doors open at 11am, and the event begins at 12noon. We encourage you to time coach/train journeys so that you arrive by 11.00, to give your group time to enter The SSE Arena, Wembley (there is a bag search) and make themselves comfortable before taking their seats. There is music playing from 11am, and activities in the concourse, so it is worth arriving early, if you can.

The day finishes by 5.40pm, with the Arena cleared by 6pm.

Groups can bring their own packed lunches; for security reasons any drinks bottles must be plastic, not glass or cans, and they should be opened on arrival at the Arena. The SSE Arena, Wembley warmly encourage participants to use personal, reusable bottles to reduce single use plastic. In addition, there are drinks and snacks on sale within the Arena throughout the day.

Yes, The SSE Arena, Wembley is fully accessible, and we welcome those with any additional needs. The event does contains times of darkness, and some bright and moving lights, so please be aware of this when booking. The areas in which those using wheelchairs can sit have an excellent view of the stage, but may be separate from the main Diocesan, parish or school group, especially if that is a large group. Therefore we will ask wheelchair users to nominate a friend or carer to sit with them – and this will also require the group to bring an additional leader. We will provide this ticket free of charge. We understand that you may not know the composition of the group until much nearer the event, and we will email Group Leaders six weeks prior to Flame to get information about those with additional needs, to help us as we allocate the seating.

The SSE Arena, Wembley is very accessible by tube, road or rail, and all the transport links can be found on their website, Coach companies can also book parking via The SSE Arena Wembley website, and this is the only coach parking near the Arena, so we advise coach operators – especially those travelling from a distance – to book their parking early.

These FAQs will be updated during the year, as new information is received, and/or as group leaders ask further questions, relevant for everyone. Please email questions to

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What have people said about The Flame Congress?

“Our young people were quite literally enflamed by their experience and recognised a very special encounter with the person of Jesus Christ. Our young people will now be the best missionaries as they take back what they have experienced to their schools and parishes.”

School Chaplaincy Co-ordinator, Performer Flame 2019

“Your event is world class – right up there with the best events of this type in the world.”

Catholic Speaker

“Amazing grace! What a wonderful day. This is the 3rd Flame event we have attended and there was something very special about this year.  In previous years the kids enjoyed it but they weren’t captivated by it! This year the message was for them – it spoke directly to where they are at. They heard the Gospel – they were affirmed and encouraged, given hope.  Flame this year was for them and they were captivated.”

Parish Catechist

Take a look at photos from previous Flame Events

Flame Congress, 2012
Flame Congress, 2012The SSE Arena, Wembley
The first ever Flame Congress took place in 2012 to mark the 2012 London Olympics.
Flame 2, 2015
Flame 2, 2015The SSE Arena, Wembley
Flame 2017
Flame 2017The SSE Arena, Wembley
Flame 2019
Flame 2019The SSE Arena, Wembley
Theme: #Significance