1st Confirmation Retreat February 2017

3rd – 5th February 2017

The afternoon of 3rd February was wet and dismal, but that did not dampen the spirits of the 21 young people, and 4 not so young people, as they boarded the coach for the Diocesan Youth Centre in Whitstable, Kent.     After settling in, and supper, we took part in various team building games to “break the ice.”   During our night prayer, we reflected on those left at home, and those who mean the most to us in the world. Reading letters and cards from home proved emotional as always, but incredibly beautiful none the less.

On Saturday, after Morning Prayer, we took part in various workshops as we explored our Faith, our relationship with God, and each other.   After lunch, we went bowling, and then for a brisk walk along the beach with, incredibly, mainly blue skies.   Returning to the centre, we prepared for Mass by learning some new music, and doing a Lectio on the scriptures.   Fr Anthony (who was received by rapturous applause and shouts of joy) cerebrated Mass with us, and after that we took part in a quiz.  As always, the leaders did not do so well, but smiled (through gritted teeth) none the less!  Night prayer rounded off a hectic, but satisfying day. 

Sunday morning dawned, and after Morning Prayer we wrote affirmations on our friends present and held other workshops through to our final liturgy.

I would like to thank Adelaid, Jackie & Kevin for giving up their weekend and coming along to support our confirmation candidates as part of our parish leadership team – without them we would not have been able to go.

The team in Whitstable were as amazing as ever, and a real privilege to work with and get to know.   A massive vote of thanks from everyone goes to the whole team for all of their hard work, patience, laughs and friendship – it means so much to us all.

Thanks to Fr Anthony for celebrating Mass – it was great to see you again!

Finally, our thanks to all our candidates for giving of themselves during the weekend, for their participation and fun, and for the many laughs we shared – oh, and banter!   It was truly a very special weekend!

Andrew Richardson