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Thousands of young people worshipping at Soul Survivor in Ely Diocese

Posted on Tuesday 29 August 2017
As Soul Survivor Youth festival made its move to Ely Diocese in Summer 2017, the East of England showground was alight with the energy of over 9,000 teenagers on site for Week B of the festival running from the 19-24th August.

With a packed programme of teaching, worship, youth-focused seminars, sporting activities, cafes, music, concerts, and much more, well over 200 young people, youth leaders and supporting clergy from Anglican churches around Ely Diocese attended.  

Over 1,000 young people were reported by the Soul Survivor Leadership team as having responded to the gospel during the Soul Survivor festival weeks, with Week C to commence over the Bank Holiday weekend. 

Making its move from over 20+ years of using the Shepton Mallet showground (whilst also holding similar summer events in Stafford and regular events at Soul Survivor Watford during the year), Ely Diocese were thrilled to work with Founding Director Mike Pilavachi and the Soul Survivor Leadership team in the run up to the event and during the week. 

Hosting a Leaders’ Reception on Day 4 of Week B, Ely Diocese Youth Adviser Rachael Heffer and the Youth Missioners from Peterborough Diocese hosted fifteen Ely Diocese clergy along with Leaders from Peterborough Diocese to encourage the growing Church links, welcome Church leaders on site and build towards mission links for future festival weeks. 

Bishop David met with over 20 young people for their feedback on the week and spoke to the Leaders' gathering stressing the value and importance of such youth-focused weeks, to help grow the faith of young people, encourage young leaders and harness the potential missional impact of the young people who attend when going back to their schools and churches. 

Mike Pilavachi welcomed the Church Leaders on site saying; ‘There is a significant partnership with the two neighbouring dioceses of Ely and Peterborough and one we hope to build on, to great effect in the coming years.’ 

Rachael Heffer adds; ‘This is hugely exciting for our churches, to have Soul Survivor move to Ely Diocese for two weeks of their summer events! I’m thrilled to already see so many of our churches and young people here, working with the Youth team from Peterborough Diocese. We hope together, to encourage more engagement from all churches around both dioceses, to see many more young lives impacted by such a fantastic week of teaching, fun and worship and releasing them into mission when back at home. We look forward to working with Soul Survivor in the years to come.’ 

The partnership with Soul Survivor stems into the year with two worship events already planned, which will welcome young people and youth groups from Ely diocese:  

  • Saturday 28th October, Soul Survivor Worship Event, 7:30pm, Kingsgate Peterborough (poster linked below for more details)
  • Saturday 12th May, Soul Survivor Worship Event, 7:30pm, St Barnabas, Cambridge (details coming soon). 

For further information please visit the website at  

To camp with all youth groups from Ely diocese in Summer 2018, to hear of the summer mission opportunities or for more information about the event, please contact Youth Adviser, Rachael Heffer on: