A fantastic week was had by all as 62 Year 9 students made their way to the sunny hills of Derbyshire to spend some time on retreat at The Briars in Crich.

On our first night we had to #savourthequaver! whilst also getting to know the other people in our small group, and the Briars Team!

On Tuesday we took part in the ‘Game of Life’ where we only had 20 minutes to live our lives in a school setting and we had to make the most of all of the opportunities that cam our way. After a break we then spent some time sharing our thoughts and feelings with our small groups and in the afternoon we took to the hills and went on a walk! In the evening we travelled around the Briars and experienced different types of prayer in our small groups.

Wednesday started competitively – not just because of bowling but also because of the sing off on the coach journeys too! In the afternoon the competition continued but this time it was was boys Vs girls! After battling it out in the board game we then split into two groups to spend some time with the boys/ girls and to reflect on the struggles and joys that we face. The evening ended in a service for the Year of Mercy where we passed through one of only 4 Holy Doors in the Diocese!

Thursday was a packed day! We began by trying to get a job on the Briars’ plantation (not always successfully!) and realised that there are many injustices faced by workers all over the world, not least because of the effects of climate change! After lunch we learnt the songs that would form a part of our Mass and after a break we were ready to prepare for our celebration and to enjoy the wonderful weather that we had been blessed with all week by enjoying a celebration of Mass outside. It was a beautiful Mass and after dinner we were able to enjoy some talent show performances and then a disco like no other! Our day finished with Night Prayer which had been prepared by one of Becket’s own – Paige. She shared her journey of faith with us and sang to us as we prayed in the garden – what a beautiful way to end our last full day of our retreat!

Friday morning began with some ‘prayerobics’ to get everyone awake and then everyone took some time to share words of love with one another so that everyone knew how much they were appreciated and admired by the others members of their year group. We then got ready to depart on our coach…and over an hour later (and with lots and lots of rain!) we were on our way home!

Thank you so much to the Team at The Briars who led us on such an amazing and memorable retreat and to all those Year 9s who got involved and made it so special for everyone! Don’t forget to share what you have learnt with your friends and family and to get involved with the Cannons events that the Briars Team runs in Nottingham each term! Enjoy the pictures below!

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