Friday, August 8, 2008

Youth Retreat

Youth Retreat
I was only able to attend the first day and a half of the three day youth retreat. The retreat was organized by the chaplains of University of Kent at Canterbury and Canterbury Christ Church University. It was organized to give us an opportunity to reflect on the past few weeks, relax, and get to know the Canterbury area and its history.

The first day began with reflections with Archbishop Rowan. We gathered in one of the classrooms and really discussed our experiences. While he was at the front of the room, I was surprised as to how much of a true dialogue the event was. He was surprisingly honest with us, and we had the opportunity to ask him any question we had. I asked "What do you view your job as the archbishop of Canterbury to be, and how do you see yourselves in that role?" Other questions included "Since your wife is a theologians, do you disagree about anything?" (answer:Unfortunately, no) as well as questions about his kids, publications, life before and after being appointed ABC, etc.

This lasted about three hours, before we broke for lunch, during which I sat diagonally across from ++Rowan. He wasn't wearing is collar, and it was amusing as he stood behind me in the lunch queue and people kept pointing and whispering (is that him?). He told of us times when he would be walking and people would stare, and if he said something, those staring would would say "Sorry, I thought you were the Archbisop of Canterbury." His would respond "Oh," shrug, and walk away.

The afternoon was divided into sessions to choose from: "Christianity and Evolution," "Ten things every Christian should know about Islam," and "Walking the Labyrinth." Although I originally intended to attend the session on Evolution, I was feeling a bit anxious, so I ended up walking the labyrinth that was just finished being built last week. That evening we went to the movies... some of us saw Dark Knight, others saw Mamma Mia.

The next day I packed up and then we all left for a tour of East Kent. We began at St. Augustine's cross, then went to ruins of an old castle. I had to leave after that but the rest of the group continued to a few other places, ending with mass at St. Augustine's abbey, led by ++Rowan.


Ann said...

Which movie did you go see? Review? Thumbs up? Thumbs down?

Allie said...

The Dark Knight... it was very good

Greg said...

Thank you for all your blogging in recent weeks, it has been both interesting and helpful to read a different perspective - especailly as I was a steward in 1988 and have some idea of the experience too! I wish I had known you had Fr Michael from St John's with you too as a steward, he works with a very old friend of mine, who speaks very highly of his work.

Allie said...

Greg, there were a two people who were there who were stewards in 1998 - one who was the assistant steward manager and another who was a rappatour (Erin and Ian) - both said the stewards group was very different from last go around and that the programme was very different - but I'm sure some aspects were similar... I'm just glad we didn't have to wear the bright yellow sweatshirts.

Michael is great! Glad the blog could be of service

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Thanks so much for this blog, Allie. Yet another perspective of Lambeth, which was decidedly not all about bishops. This was a blessing in so many ways. Thanks for your dedication and hard work.