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Last week some of us from The Becket 6th Form were lucky enough to go on the Briars 6th Form Retreat alongside other schools from the diocese. It was an incredible opportunity to truly connect with one another as well as students from Christ the King and Trinity schools. The theme of this retreat was ‘Individuality’, which encompassed everything special and important about us as individuals; including really looking into what makes us, us. It also inspired many clips from the renowned ‘Greatest Showman’ film (which, in turn, led to a lot of singing!).

We arrived on Wednesday afternoon and began with many card games to get to know one another before the Briars Team welcomed us to the centre and put us into ‘small groups’ which gave us the opportunity to find out a bit more about those from other schools and learn more about ourselves and our faith during the retreat. Wednesday night included a Briars version of ‘The Voice’ which involved some interestingly interpretative dancing and singing! We concluded the evening with a quiet reflection after more games and laughs.

Thursday was a jam packed day involving all sorts of games and activities-including ‘Hunted’ in the morning (featuring a LOT of competitive running for clues!). We also spent more time within our groups, and had an amazing discussion session covering everything from how we felt about our faith to our dreams when we were five! We watched more of the Greatest Showman and used prayer and reflection to remind ourselves of our importance and significance as people. We rounded off the day with a beautiful Mass planned and presented by each of our groups, a formal dinner and a quiz! This led into our final evening prayer of the retreat which carried the theme ‘Small things with great love’. It was an amazing experience, which involved each of us taking a brave step in showing more love and kindness to ourselves and each other.

Friday concluded the retreat, and involved more card games, more Greatest Showman and an uplifting ‘affirmation’ session before a final group prayer and reflection. The retreat was a truly moving and a unique chance to find some time out of our busy schedules and relax, as well as make new friends from across the Our Lady of Lourdes Trust and feel more secure and happy in our own individuality. The team and programme leaders made the retreat run so smoothly whilst ensuring we all had the best time possible!

There are more Briars retreats available to other years throughout the upcoming year-watch out for them!