A group of Year 8 pupils enjoyed a three day spiritual experience and residential retreat at Savio House in Bollington, Cheshire. The retreat enabled them to take time out from their busy lives to reflect upon themselves, their hopes and dreams and their relationships with those around them.
The trip is part-funded by the Saint Paul’s Parents, Teachers and Friends Association. Savio House is a place where pupils can find space and freedom to explore their own deep desires, values and beliefs in a reflective atmosphere.
Savio House provided a relaxed and friendly environment with a retreat relevant to the pupils. The school sees the retreat as an integral part of the life-long faith formation of young people. The students withdraw from the ordinary activities of the school for a period of time to be with God in prayer and reflection.
“The retreat experience offered the pupils the time to examine and strengthen their relationships with themselves, with others and with God. It provided time for personal reflection and spiritual growth through a positive experience of living as a community,” explained Mrs Lisa Baillie Assistant Headteacher at Saint Paul’s. “The pupils spent time focusing on spiritual matters with morning and night prayers each day, a celebration of the Eucharist and an opportunity for all to experience the forgiveness of God in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It helped them to grow closer to God and develop their faith.”
"It’s very important for children to take time out & reflect upon themselves and their lives and in the busy day to day rush of school life, it is very hard to find this time for longer than a few minutes. Although school liturgy and prayer time is good, the chance to move physically away and be together for a few days allows both pupils & staff to focus on deeper exploration and reflection than would be possible in school,” said Head Teacher, Mrs Fiona Minshall. “We notice the benefits which include a greater maturity when the children return to school.”
Mrs Minshall added “The days are based around exciting activities which encourage the whole group to get involved and co-operate to solve problems and complete a variety of challenges. In addition, each activity includes a chance for reflection on the theme of the day.”