Trip To Taizé Was Truly Inspirational

In July eleven pupils and two staff travelled to Taizé, an extraordinary Christian community made up of Catholics and Protestants, situated in a small village in the Bergerac region of the south of France. The community was founded in 1940 by a Swiss Protestant, Roger Schütz (Brother Roger) who wanted to live a simple life of prayer and to offer a haven for the many refugees fleeing Germany at the time. From the start, the community that grew around him (which now numbers 100 brothers) was characterised by the search for peace and reconciliation in the human family.

During the 10-day trip, the Princethorpe pilgrims camped and experienced community life with around 2,000 other young people from across Europe and beyond. Three times a day they gathered with the brothers in the church to sing and reflect in silence. They also took part in discussion workshops with young people of their own age and had plenty of free time for socialising too.

Reflecting on the trip, Y11’s Hannah Bryer, commented, “One of the most memorable moments for me was when we met our Bible discussion group and made many new friends, some of whom I am still in touch with. It was interesting to find out about other countries and their cultures and realise how different they are.” She continued, “Another memorable experience was when we served food at lunch. It was great fun as you got to meet so many people, as well as having a laugh with the people you were serving with.”

Trip leader, Rod Isaacs, explained, “No one who has been to Taizé comes back unchanged. Whether they see themselves as religious or not, they leave with a deeper appreciation of what a Christian community can offer. I think they also discover in themselves a new spirit of generosity. They get a sense of joy in being with so many young people from other cultures and countries. It’s a truly inspirational place.”