Delia Smith at Bright Lights

Delia Smith, cookery writer and television personality, and Margaret and Barry Mizen, parents of  teenager Jimmy Mizen killed on the streets of south-east London in 2008, are amongst those due to take part in Bright Lights,  London's annual Catholic festival of faith for young people.

Running from Friday 10 July to Sunday 12 July 2009, the 15th Bright Lights annual young adults festival will take place in Hendon, north London.

With national and internationally renowned speakers giving talks and leading seminars, popular bands in concert, leading Catholic drama companies and a plethora of communities, this year's theme is 'Happy Are You'.

'Happy are you' is taken from the Beatitudes (Matthew 5), and also from St Paul, "I want you to be happy" (Phil 4:4).  We are called to reflect: Are we happy? Why is there so much unhappiness in our world? Where do we look for happiness and fulfillment? How can we help others to a happier, more blessed, life?

Helping to explore the relevance of the words 'Happy Are You' to our lives today will be  Britain's best-selling cookery writer and television  personality, 'Delia Smith'.  As well as her many cookery books, Delia is the author of a number of spiritual books - 'Feast for
Lent' and 'Feast for Advent', readings and reflections for these seasons, and a book on prayer - 'Journey into God'.  She will speak about her faith journey.

Travelling all the way from Kenya will be two revolutionary young people, Kepha Ngito and Alice Ahenda.  Growing up in the two largest slums in Kenya, Kepha and Alice know at first hand the challenges faced by more than one million people living in makeshift housing in cramped conditions without access to basic social and economic amenities.  Each in their own way have found real and practical ways to change their circumstances and empower other young people to do the same.  Their inspirational story will propel people attending the festival to take charge of the situations they face and make steps to change them.

Presenting their story and experience, Margaret and Barry Mizen, parents of Londoner Jimmy Mizen who was senselessly killed last year in south east London, will help explore how we can find peaceful responses to the situations which we are constantly finding ourselves in.  Their story and words will be intensely relevant in our own lives as well as Londoners living in a city which is increasingly full of violence and crime.

Brightlights brings together young people from across London, Hertfordshire and the South East of England. This year festival goers will also be joined by young adults from France on a cultural exchange, with the brothers from Taize who are dedicated to ecumenicalism and peace. Also taking part will be Tobias Jones author of Utopian Dreams,
as well as the Missionaries of Charity, Young Catholic Workers, Pax Christi and other leading organisations in the Catholic Church.

BRIGHT LIGHTS 2009 takes place from Friday 10 - Sunday 12 July at the St Joseph's Pastoral Centre, St. Joseph's Grove, Hendon, NW4 4TY

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