On the week commencing 03/02/2020, The Briars was host to year 11’s from Nottingham, Trinity and The Becket. We were honoured to share our home with such a funny, friendly and influential group of young people!

Monday night saw us partake in our very own version of ITV’s “The Masked Singer”, in which each small group selected their own modern day influencer and performed a song that relates to their lives! We were treated to some hilarious performances from the likes of Ed Sheeran, TikTok’s Charli D’Amelio and even our very own Tom Baptist (there is no better influencer, right?). Even though it was all a bit of a laugh, behind it was an inspiring message that anyone could be an influencer.

When Tuesday came around, it was time share things about our life’s and work as a team at the same time. Each small group went around in groups to complete various extreme, life-threatening challenges, they answered questions about their faith, challenges they’ve faced, best experiences and many more. It was great opportunity for the two schools to get to know each other, and influence each other’s faith journeys!

We went on a walk on the Tuesday afternoon around the beautiful area of Crich, where we were encouraged to discuss those who have an influence on our own lives – it was fantastic to experience the breathtaking views at the top of Crich. We also got to use our state of the art Instagram filter, which also allowed us to share the influencers we have in our lives (both personal and celebrity!)

It seemed right to end such a great retreat with a perfect mass, and a wonderful disco in which we bopped to TikTok bangers like “Break my stride” and even classics like Sweet Caroline! After the disco, we were treated to a fantastic night prayer from James based around the theme of influencing each other with our love! This was through St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians – we all got a piece of scripture that was meant to be for us. It may have seemed like a random piece of scripture, but ultimately, it was part of God’s plan for us – the piece of scripture we received was the one we needed to hear! To conclude this fantastic retreat, we showed each other the ultimate form of love (no, not hash browns) – affirmations!

I’ll finish with a huge thanks – thanks to both the staff and young people from Trinity and The Becket for throwing yourselves into every minute of the retreat. It’s really true that your retreat to The Briars is what you make of it – and you guys made it awesome! THANK YOU!

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