Confirmation Retreat – Whitstable

6th – 8th February 2015

The afternoon of 6thFebruary was bright, but cold as 17 members of the Confirmation programme prepared to depart on their retreat – the first of two such weekends.   We set off from church at 3.45pm and arrived at the diocesan youth centre in Whitstable at 5.45pm.   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. 

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 (and a game of American Football – I actually thought it was rugby, but was quickly corrected)!   Returning to the centre, we prepared for Mass by learning some new music, and doing a Lectio on the scriptures.  However, before Mass, Fr Anthony paid us a visit which was really great.    Brother (Father) Paul from Aylesford celebrated Mass for us, with Fr Tom as Concelebrant, and after that we took part in a quiz (I say  took part, but as the leader’s team did rather badly, we may as well not have turned up)!   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 Judy, Debi, Laurie and Fr Tom 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 Julz (team leader), Ellie, Isaac, Blue, Bethan, Rachel & Katy for all of their hard work, patience, laughs and friendship – it means so much to us all.

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