Christian event Catalyst ends with prayers for peace

Jasper Rutherford
Jasper Rutherford

Christian festival-goers at Catalyst in Glenarm have left the three-day event “refreshed and revitalised in their relationship with God”.

After a string of events across the weekend, the gathering of campers drew to a close on Sunday with prayers for peace in Northern Ireland.

One of the organisers, Jasper Rutherford, 38, speaking before the close of the festival, said: “It has gone amazingly well. It has been a fantastic weekend where people came from all around the country including Dublin and Sligo. Obviously the weather made it even better.”

Mr Rutherford said like all other festivals there was a “rolling start” to the weekend “with people arriving late after driving long distances”.

“The festival started on Friday night with the main worship service in the tent overlooking the castle,” he said.

“Gathering together during a Christian festival is an important thing.

“After the main session we had our gig night and all our cafes and pit fires where we sat around drinking hot chocolate.

“Like any other festival it warmed up through the night.”

On Saturday they started the day again with a meeting “and we had the president of the Methodist Church, Heather Morris, speaking to us”.

“In the afternoon, after lunch and walks in the grounds, we had a choice of nine different seminars on subjects including ‘How to get through uni’, ‘God at work’ and ‘God is not a Protestant’”, he said. “In the evening we had another worship service and then a ceili at night. Meanwhile, yesterday festival-goers enjoyed a hog roast after the main service.

“And after lunch we had our own Catalyst Highland Games.”

The Catalyst festival finished off by “praying for peace in this land”.

“We have been sharing stories too and people tell me they feel refreshed in their faith and revitalised in their faith after this weekend,” he added.

The gathering is an offshoot of the Summer Madness festival, taking place this weekend at the same location.

One of the organisers of Catalyst, Jasper Rutherford, pictured, has told of his delight that “all denominations came to the festival in Glenarm”.

“Every denomination has been here – Methodist, Presbyterian, new churches like Vineyard, independent churches, Church of Ireland and Catholic groups,” he said. “This is a great thing that is happening amongst young adults where the denomination is not the important thing – worshipping God is the important thing.”

Mr Rutherford said as an organiser he was “so caught up in the detail you almost miss enjoying it”, adding “but I have had a fantastic time”.

“God has spoken to me and impacted me in powerful ways this weekend,” he added. “It has been a privilege to be a part of.”

In coming years he hopes to see “over 1,000 people” attend the festival.