Pupils will have several opportunities to visit St Vincent Retreat Centre in Whitstable. Year 8 go in term 1 and Year 7 go in term 6. St. Vincent’s Centre is the Southwark Diocesan Youth Retreat Centre. They offer retreat programmes for school groups, parish Confirmation and Youth groups (aged 11 -18).
Time spent at the centre is led by the programme staff and peer ministry team, made up of young Catholics who work alongside visiting chaplains, catechists, teachers and youth workers. Programmes include large and small group work, discussion, creative arts, prayer, liturgy, Mass, social time and a chance to enjoy the beach.
Through peer ministry, friendship, discipleship and community living the aim is to build awareness and confidence by exploring themes relevant to young people and the development of their faith.
Twice a year the whole school comes off timetable for what we call Block Day. Each year group takes part in various different activities for the whole day led by various departments. Two year groups participate in a day’s Retreat.
Term 1 – Year 10: The theme of the day is ‘What are you called to be?’
The purpose of the day is to give each pupil in Year 10 the opportunity to discuss with members of their form, in a more relaxed setting, issues which are of concern to them as they grow up. An integral part of the day’s discussion will be the way Christian Teaching can guide and help young people to come to a deeper understanding of their own identity in the world.
The RE Team and Guest speakers will lead various workshops and end the day with a liturgy celebration. We have led this day in Ashburnham Retreat Centre and the Hastings Centre.
Term 6 – Year 8: The theme of the day is ‘Rich World/Poor World’.
The purpose of the day is to give each pupil in Year 8 the opportunity to discuss with members of their form, in a more relaxed setting, issues which are of concern to them as they grow up. The day involves looking at issues of global poverty, world debt and the work of CAFOD. Pupils play the World Food Trade Game looking at how fair production and distribution of food is in the world.
Each form with their tutor is divided unevenly into groups representing countries who produce various foods and must work with what they receive to complete the poster (produce their food for distribution). The game ends with ‘food’ being distributed as it would be in the world and pupils discuss how fair or unfair this is on us. This day is held in the Ashburnham Centre.
The Catholic Youth Ministry Federation (CYMFed) seeks to help shape and support Catholic Youth Ministry in England & Wales. Every two years they hold a congress for all the Catholic youth in the UK in Wembley Arena. The event begins with a number of speakers and worship music and concludes with adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. St Richard’s first attended in 2015 alongside Bexhill and Eastbourne Confirmation groups.
An incredible event, the highlight for pupils was the inspiring talk be Cardinal Tagle and the worship music by Matt Redman whose hymn ‘Bless the Lord (10,000 Reasons) is a favourite in school. Tickets have been purchased for the 2017 event and we are very excited to hear that the theme is being based around the same Matt Redman hymn – 10,000 Reasons.
Good Shepherd Diocesan Celebration
Every year St Richard’s joins the Diocesan primary and secondary schools for the Good Shepherd celebrations. These are usually held in Worth Abbey. Bishop Richard leads the service and this year he moved the event to the cathedral in Arundel to allow the pupils the opportunity to go through the Door of Mercy at the Cathedral.
A number of Liturgy Reps represented St Richard’s at this year’s event and collected a gift from Bishop Richard of a beautiful book on St Philip Howard and a picture of Bishop Richard at the Cathedral Holy Door. These are now in our library.