2nd Confirmation Retreat February 2017

24th – 26th February 2017

The afternoon of 24th February was, unlike the first weekend, dry and quite pleasant (apart from the wind)!  So, 18 young people, and 4 not so young people, 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.   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 like any long standing friend who one has not seen for some time) cerebrated Mass with us, and after that we took part in a quiz, coupled with a murder game (which is why we didn’t bring back all of the young people)!  (Joke, by the way)!  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.

We also celebrated a first for any weekend at Whitstable.  Some decided that the table football was sexist as there were only male players.  After some clothes making, some of the payers are now women, so we have mixed teams.  Quite right too!

I would like to thank Katia, Judy & Laurie 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 Holly, Ben, Freya, Martha, Dani & Bethan.  Not forgetting Janice who fed us so well. 

Thanks to our good friend Fr Anthony for celebrating such a beautiful 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