Students visit St Cassian's Retreat

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Students visit St Cassian's Retreat
In November 2022 eleven students and the two College Chaplains made a sixty mile journey to the St Cassian’s retreat centre at Kintbury in Berkshire, where they were joined from students at another sixth form college.

On the first evening the students and Chaplains met the retreat team, who spoke to everyone about the retreat’s themes of awareness and reconciliation. This was followed by some icebreaker games and prayers in the beautiful Quiet Room before everyone headed to bed in preparation for a busy day.
On Friday morning, the visitors woke to the beautiful view at the retreat centre and began the day with an exercise where they were made aware of themselves and those around them. As sixth formers, the students were given a very distinct message about responsibility from Beti who spoke to everyone in the beautiful Cedar Room.  Students and staff were then encouraged to discuss who they cared for and why, before beginning the day’s other activities. These included games of archery, low rope walking and ‘Skiing’, which all emphasised the need to be aware of an individual’s role in making a team successful. After such a full day, students and staff were ready for the retreat’s delicious dinner, before heading to bed for a well-earned sleep!

On Saturday, the students considered what ‘Confession’ is and how confession is applied in in people’s day to day lives. The was followed by more fun and thought-provoking games, including one exercise called ‘Tangle!’ This involved people getting into a physical tangle and participants had to work as a team to help everyone escape. After a quiz came a mask making workshop, where visitors were asked to use them to illustrate what they are proud of. One of the key themes from the St Francis Xavier group was the pride students have in their national heritage.

Later, students and Chaplains considered how they approach the difficult things in life, which reminded everyone that God is there for people to help, guide and comfort them.  This was done quietly and respectfully using four different ‘stations’ to help guide them.

On Sunday morning everyone reflected on their time at the retreat, which the whole group found to be a very positive experience. Before heading back to London, the students and staff finished with the obligatory St Cassian’s group photo with the statue of St John Baptiste de La Salle.