In response to the call of Pope Francis for 24 hours for the Lord, seven parishes across the Archdiocese of Birmingham took up the challenge of throwing open their doors for Nightfever on the first Friday in March. The aim of the initiative is to attract those who happen to pass by churches where the event is taking place, with parishoners extending a simple invitation to enter and light a candle. Nightfever took place in Oxford, Worcester, Wolverhampton, Stourbridge, Birmingham, Burton and Solihull. Across the diocese, hundreds of people responded to the invitation and stepped through the doors of churches to encounter a warm welcome and opportunity for prayer or simply a moment of quiet amid the chaos of life. Many returned after several years away from the Church. Essential parts of the evenings are Eucharistic adoration, prayers, music and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
One of the organisers, Vicky Chatten, of Birmingham Catholic Youth Service said: “seeds have been sown across our Diocese so let us continue to pray for all of the people who have been touched by Nightfever that they will bear fruit in the days, months or even years to come. From returning to the merciful arms of the Father in confession to courageously sharing their faith, many parishioners have also been transformed by the experience and were left enlivened in their faith and looking for the next opportunity to reach out to those who are yet to know the love of God.”
Nightfever was an idea that came about in Germany after World Youth Day in 2005 and has now spread to a number of countries. A co-ordinator in Britain has described Nightfever as “a door opener. for those who once had faith in God – and for those who have never met Christ we hope this becomes a moment of fruitful encounter.