Sixth Form Retreat
Love is an Open Door
Boarbank Hall, on the outskirts of Grange-over-Sands provided a beautiful setting for the 2016 annual 6th form Retreat. Arriving in glorious sunshine, the fifteen students began the three day retreat settling in with ice-breaker activities and a game or two of 'Splat!' There then followed a tour of the grounds and a solitary reflection, whilst taking in the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside, coastline and incredible setting sun.
Our theme of the Retreat, ' Love is an Open Door' aptly fitted the 'Year of Mercy' declared by Pope Francis for this year. As a group we explored the ideas connected to this by discussing the recent opening of the Vatican door and linking with this theme, what different doors may represent. We then expressed our own ideas pictorially, considering home, friendship, school and community and the positive and negative aspects of these. Ideas and thoughts were shared in groups and everyone reflected on their life, past and present. The first day was drawn to a close with Prayers and a hymn in Latin, round the fire with the resident Sisters and Priest.
Thursday began with Meditation for the group. Given our relaxed state, we went for a burst of fresh air in the grounds with a frantic game of manhunt, to awaken the senses! Father Andrew led the next session on the 'Seven Works of Mercy', namely to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, visit the imprisoned and to bury the dead.
We discussed the work of the Master of Alkmaar.and the ideas behind his paintings and the students represented the ideas in a piece of their own modern art. There then followed a period of reflection and the students were invited to participate in Reconciliation.
In the afternoon we had a rather rainy trip to Grange over Sands. We managed to spot the duck pond before diving into various cafes to avoid the downpour. Back and dry once more as, typically, the sun started to shine again; we turned our thoughts to Celebration. The 'Retreat Bake Off ' once more showcased the competitive nature of the group as they set to baking cakes, biscuits, flapjack, muffins and truffles. Following a frantic search for sugar, they completed their cakes in record time, all were cooked to perfection! Mrs Lowe joined us for the evening and judged the competition and as a group we completed books of affirmation followed by a mad game of 'shipping 'charades, with the final prayer of the day being held in the Chapel.
On the last morning, we attended Mass in the Chapel with the Sisters and the Community and then prepared for the final Liturgy. The students were inventive and creative in preparing and delivering a variety of sketches, thoughts and games which summed up the ideas and events of the retreat. This was followed by songs and prayers (and a final game of Splat!)