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Reform Magazine | December 5, 2023

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Around the fire

Around the fire

The Christian youth camp Crossfire is 35 years old and still going strong, says Mark Steel

Crossfire is a Christian camp for young people aged 12 and upwards, created and run by the Group for Evangelism and Renewal (Gear) in the United Reformed Church. Over the second bank holiday weekend in May, young people come together to explore the Gospel and to enjoy worship, discussion and games.

We have a different guest speaker each year – in 2018 it was Jake Mahal, the Spring Harvest youth speaker. As well as his talks, the speaker provides notes for small group discussions over the weekend. We generally follow theme the theme set by the URC’s children’s and youth work department, whether that be treasure, roots and foundations or, as last year, pilgrimage. The theme is reflected in social activities as well as teaching. So for example, we always have a big wide game, and last year that involved the young people frantically searching the area for a Bible, a torch and other things they would need for their pilgrimage.

The young people are divided into groups of from six to eight for the whole weekend, what we call tribes, each with a male and female leader. These groups are a place for discussion, worship, pastoral care and building relationships, as well as for team games. There is a ‘roadshow’ on the Sunday night, where the young people put on performances they’ve been working on in their groups, and I’m always bowled over by the level of talent that comes out. On the Saturday night we have an evening walk followed by a massive campfire with hot drinks and songs…

Mark Steel is the chair of Crossfire. Tickets for Crossfire 2019 are on sale at



This is an extract from an article that was published in the December 2018 / January 2019 edition of  Reform

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