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Young adults get a transformation at Clare Priory

Sophie Pereira from the Ignite Team was among participants at the Transform for Holy Week event which took place recently at Clare Priory.

In all, sixteen 16-35 year-olds joined the event, which ran from Friday March 31 to Sunday April 2. “It was an experience that I won’t forget,” said one of the participants.

“For myself it was an evening of prayer ministry and close encounter with the Eucharist that was one of the highlights of the weekend,” said Sophie. “It was a very moving and transformative service for many, and an experience not previously had by the young adults.

“The chance to witness different styles of prayer, often not offered in their normal parish, is something that the Transform retreat aims to offer young people. It provides an opportunity for young adults to delve deeper into their faith and discover new aspects of Catholicism that they may not have known existed or had a chance to experience.”

The evening was made even better by an informal music gig by the band ‘Revelation’ with some snacks and a time for the retreatants to socialise, have fun and discuss the events of the day.

Another highlight of the event was a thought-provoking talk delivered by Bishop Peter Collins all about contemplating the events of Holy Week and ways we can prepare ourselves for it. Participants were tasked by the Bishop to imagine themselves in situations occurring during Holy Week, whether anonymous among the crowds or as one of Jesus’ closest followers; allowing themselves to understand and try to relate to the events happening.

In addition to the activities of the retreat, the young adults had the opportunity to explore the beautiful surroundings of Clare Priory. It is the oldest Augustinian Priory in England, dating back to the 1200s and it’s not a surprise that people continue to use the Priory as a place of quiet prayer and retreat. The beautiful surroundings and abundance of wildlife make it a perfect place for retreat from the daily stresses of life. The retreatants also had the opportunity to join in the daily life of the friars, including morning and evening prayer and meals.

“The Transform retreat aimed to expose our young adults to many different aspects of our faith,” said Sophie, “from the daily life of Friars to an evening of prayer ministry. Our retreatants left with a changed attitude towards many parts of their faith, and a changed attitude towards opportunities for young adults within the Diocese. They left the Transform event transformed.”

Pictured above are participants of the Transform event at Clare Priory.