Wiltshire

Wiltshire catholic hails World Youth Day in Madrid

A young catholic from Wiltshire says his faith has been strengthened by a special event being held in Europe.

The annual World Youth Day has seen hundreds of thousands of young people from all across the globe gathering in Madrid.

Those attending say the chance to share their faith with others of similar age is a unique opportunity.

Tom Rees from Swindon was in Madrid for the event which is regarded as the biggest youth event in the world.

During the event, many pilgrims needed medical treatment because of intense heat, but Tom says it didn't really affect what was being experienced.

"Spirituality and joy"

He said: "It went from one extreme to the other but it's done nothing to take away from the spirituality and the joy that we've had here."

Tom added that the whole experience of the World Youth Day - which actually runs for more than just one day - had been a great one.

He said the variety of events on offer made it a good experience for everyone.

"You've got the spiritual side and the beauty and intimacy of the Sacraments and that's all very important for growing spiritually and finding out more that way about your faith.

"But there's also been the more festival-style events and I think that's been encouraging for young people.

"Rather than church being this thing that's very serious and very respectful on a Sunday - which, of course, it is - there's also another side to it which I think people need to see and be involved in. They're both equally as important."

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