Students from Saint Paul’s were offered an opportunity to step away from their busy lives and enjoy some quiet space for team building, reflection and prayer when they recently spent a day on retreat. The Year 7 students were able reflect on their faith and look more closely at their relationship with God as well as with their peers.
The theme for the retreat was “belonging” and the students looked at how they and others contribute to this. They engaged in a number of group-based activities exploring the theme and focusing on its impact in school, the home the local community and in the wider world. “Belonging” is the school’s core focus for the Autumn half term.
The students explored the theme through a number of activities including building midget gem structures to show the importance of team work and co-operation, and then wrote personal prayers. They gained inspiration for their prayers by reflecting on the teachings of Our Lord. The students also listened to The Parable of the Good Samaritan from Luke’s Gospel, and designed posters on our new form Saints.
The children found the value in working together, and saw the lesson within the parable will reflect on their journey through Saint Paul’s – be like the Samaritan, and help those in need wherever we can.
Mr Harrison Kilburn, Lay Chaplain at Saint Paul’s, said: “The retreat offered many bonding opportunities for the Year 7 students whilst at the same time providing a time for reflection and peace. The retreat is seen by the school 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.”
“We all need the space and the silence to reflect; it can help us begin to sense a deeper truth about ourselves,” explained Mr Nathan Mallon, Year 7 Progress Leader. “The retreat gave us the opportunity, not only to reflect upon our goals and ambitions and how everyone’s faith supports us in achieving these, but also a chance to get to know each other better.”
Mr Mike Whiteside, Deputy Headteacher, said: “The retreat is a spiritual exercise which provides the opportunity for our pupils to deepen their relationship with God, with others and with themselves, through reflection and prayer.”