On the week commencing Monday 9th March, The Briars welcomed both Trinity and All Saints schools to share a powerful journey of friendship and relationships! The retreat saw us playing hilarious games of dizzy Jenga, getting to know each other as best as we can and physically building bridges!

We began the retreat (after getting into our small groups) with some delicious beef burgers and chips – that’s definitely a relationship worth knowing about! The Round Robin games we played included Luke’s awesome dizzy jenga, blindfolded obstacle courses and travelling through our electric maze! We ended Monday night with a beautiful night prayer based around being chosen ourselves, and being “fishers of men”!

We began, on Tuesday morning, with a morning prayer from Elise’s group based around the theme of love and friendship – a beautiful way to start our day! After this, we went into a session based around getting to know each other better – by going on a lovely walk around Crich! We went on what’s known as an Emmaus walk – based around the piece of scripture on the road to Emmaus. We were challenged with difficult questions, such as; who do we turn to in life when we go through difficult times? What have been the biggest challenges in our lives?

By the afternoon, it was time to get hands-on (on some cardboard, that is). We were faced with the challenges of building the most versatile bridges possible: the most waterproof, the most stable, the most ergonomic, the easiest to pass under… But what we didn’t know, is that they were going to be brutally put to the test by the staff members! By the end of the session, it’s with great sadness that no bridges survived. Each bridge stood firm (somewhat, including James’ group’s bridge that resembled an ironing board!) but not for long!

After a chilled afternoon preparing for mass through singing and getting involved with some parts of the mass, it was time for mass itself. It was a lovely celebration of what we’d gotten up to so far in the retreat, topped off with some banger hymns to sing! However, the ultimate celebration for most of us was of course the disco! We were also treated to a very special night prayer, prepared by James and Luke, also based around the idea of friendship, in which we offered up to God all the times that we haven’t been amazing friends.

As usual, we sent each other out into the world via affirmations on Wednesday. Each message was written with love and we hope you cherish them forever – we still have the affirmations that were written for us on our Briars retreats too! Thanks to everybody from Trinity and All Saints who allowed this retreat to be so fun – thanks for throwing yourselves into every part of it!

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