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Sixth Form visit to Taize 2011

On July 9, twenty six of our sixth form students and three former students, took part in the annual visit to Taize in Burgundy in France. Our students joined 3000 other young people from all over the world who come to spend a week living in community with the Brothers of Taize.

 

The Taize community share a life of simplicity and prayer following the example of Brother Roger who founded the Community of Reconciliation in the years following World War II.

 

During the week students commit themselves to join in the community prayer three times a day when thousands of young people come to the chapel. Prayer is centred around the music and chants of Taize and silence which was a new experience for many of our 6th formers and one which they found very special. They also take part in daily Bible study sessions which are led by one of the brothers. This is followed by small group discussions. It was significant for us that five of our students became leaders of some of these small groups. They made an excellent job of overcoming the huge language and communication problems that they were faced with when having to bring together the diverse language, culture and opinions of students from across the world, but with lots of gestures and laughter they eventually managed to understand each other very well.

 

Community work is the third strand of life at Taize and we were very proud of our students who willingly did the washing up for 3000 people or emptied bins, sorted out the recycling and helped in the chapel.

 

It was a privilege for Mr Ruel, Mr O'Connell and myself to be with such a wonderful group of committed, hardworking and positive young adults, who managed to smile even when it rained continually on our tents for 17 hours!!

 

Taize is a very special and spiritual place that lives out the Gospel message. The entire experience certainly ‘touched' us all and Taize was made richer by the contribution and witness made by our students during their time there.

 

Mrs O'Connell
Teacher of Religious Education

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