Firstly sorry for the delay in writing this article I think I’ve just about recovered from a whirlwind week at the Briars. I was not there alone of course, as well as the wonderful company of Mr Edkins, Miss Zarzycki, Miss Bestwick and Miss Masterson I was joined by 61 year ten students!! Most people would think that we’re crazy to spend a week with 61 14/15 year olds but in fact the word I would like to think of is blessed.
The week in the Briars gave our students the opportunity to discover a bit more about themselves, each other but most importantly God. They experienced new ways of praying, what actually happens at Mass, and how they can be great ambassadors of Jesus in the world. This of course was delivered in the usual Briars style of good fun and with little seriousness as possible.
The students through large group and small groups work were reminded that they are wonderfully made, each one by God for a purpose and that is something to be celebrated. On Thursday they learnt about how the world needs them to bring about God’s justice and how they can change the lives of other people for the better. The students presented us with over 100 fundraising ideas and have set me the challenge of trying to put these into action… hopefully I won’t let them down! As well me being challenged, the Briars team challenged them to raise £37 over a break. This money would pay for a toilet in the Philippines, this would improve the sanitary conditions for a community and save many lives. Please bear in mind 15 minutes is not a lot of time and our students didn’t raise £37… they raised £74.02 and therefore has saved many, many lives in two communities in the Philippines. This is the greatest example of how our young people really understand what being an ambassador of Christ is all about. Not just meeting the challenge but doubling it! I am a very proud Chaplain.
The students also showcased the talents in art, music and drama including a talent show with the brilliant solo performance by Katie Lee; the odd ‘fry-that-chicken’ song by Bria, Myla and others; Reid rapping and Niamh and Sam singing round the piano before the teachers did the very bizarre medley of Time of your life by Green day and What does the fox say?!
The title of this article is a quote from Pope Francis that was given to the students; what it means is that young people have the power to make a difference (noise) if they have the courage. This was the on-going challenge our year 10s were given.
It was a great week filled with great memories and I look forward to returning in January with the group from Year 8.
Joe Hopkins-Lay Chaplain