Island students heading for Taize

    Children and Young People
    22 June 2024

    THESE students are aiming to discover more about faith as they join the Taizé Community.

    Teenagers from Christ the King College and The Bay C of E School are joining Bishop Jonathan at the ecumenical Christian community in France. They’ll join hundreds of others for worship, prayer and discussion.

    It’s the second year in a row that the bishop has led a pilgrimage for young people to Taizé. Fifteen students from The Bay C of E School will join 17 from Christ the King, travelling by coach and ferry.

    John Job, 14, who goes to The Bay C of E School and Christ Church, Sandown, said: “This will help me to figure out what God wants me to do, what my calling is. I think he wants me to be a doctor, but this will help.”

    Classmate Alesia Gidley, 14, who goes to Holy Trinity Church, Bembridge, said: “My dad was confirmed by the bishop, who talked to me about Taizé. I love travelling and have reconnected with Christianity. I don’t quite know what to expect, but I like having new experiences.”

    Skye Williams, 15, from The Bay School, said: “I want to figure out what I believe. I like finding out other people’s points of view, and I’m doing RE GCSE, so this should be interesting.”

    Alfie Bacon, 15, said: “I’m looking forward to meeting people and finding out about their tradition. I like the idea of travelling the world and seeing how other people live their lives before you reach adulthood.

    Fifteen-year-old Tegan White, has never left the country, so had to get herself a passport for the first time. And classmate Livie-Mai Wallace, 16, said: “I want to find myself, and figure out everything in person. I also think it will be a nice experience, and it’s good to go with friends from school who you already know.”

    Students from Christ the King College ahead of their trip to Taize

    Students from Christ the King College are equally interested in finding out more. Harry Cooksey, 16, said: “It will be a good experience and great to meet people our age from around the world.”

    Amelie Reddecliff, 17, said: “You hear about Christians around the world and you know they are your brothers and sisters. So it will be cool to talk to these people and do things together.”

    Hari Blair, 15, goes to St David’s RC Church in East Cowes, and has heard Taizé chants in church. Joshua Magura, 15, is looking forward to seeing the sense of community. And Marina Grant, 16, wants to meet new people.

    Rachael Busby, 17, said: “I’m interested to go to a different country and to talk to other people about their beliefs.” Classmate Kai Doidge, 15, said: “I’m not exactly religious, but I want to learn about different viewpoints.”

    And Charlie Wood, 15, has a similar thought. He said: “I don’t go to church. My family are kind-of agnostic. But I want to feel uncomfortable and have a new experience, to get the discomfort to grow.”

    Taizé is a small town in the Burgundy region of France where a monastic community was founded in 1940 and has been the focus of Christian pilgrimage from all over the world. The community has become well-known through its distinctive style of worship and commitment to prayer. Find out more here.

    Children and Young People

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