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Lifepath Malvern 22nd to 26th June 2015
Report compiled by Mary Barr
This was our ‘biggest’ Lifepath ever - both in terms of numbers of children attending (approximately 740 from 20 schools plus the group from Belarus) and volunteer-numbers (over 100). Whether it was also the ‘best-ever’ Lifepath Malvern is hard to say, but certainly the feedback that we have received - from team members, teachers, children and visitors - indicates that Lifepath in the Priory goes from strength to strength.
“A fabulous day with a caring and organised team!” - that’s typical of the comments on the schools’ Feedback Forms. Teachers highlighted as the main benefits to their pupils of doing a Lifepath Day the “Feeling of togetherness and spiritual contemplation, insight into motivation and lifestyle of Priory founders.” “Allowing the children time to reflect on themselves as learners and people. They gained new skills and knowledge through the variety of activities...” “Mixture of activities, songs and quiet times. Blend of ‘doing’ and ‘thinking’ just right. All elements were good and very well organised. The children very engaged. All the pupils enjoyed all the activities. The welcoming was engaging and the songs/actions were enjoyable for all.” “The chance for the children to experience quality reflection time; opportunity to enter the Priory and learn about its history.” “Learning something in a religious setting. Joining other schools and members of the community in an act of collective worship. Meeting and working with Christians.” “The activities were brilliant and allowed the children time to reflect on their lives and actions. The interactive songs and stories were wonderful.” “A class full of happy smiley children!”
Here’s a small but representative sample of comments from the children themselves: “I would rate the day 11/10!” “I loved the prayer journey because the people are so friendly. I also enjoyed the calligraphy because it was the fanciest writing I have ever done.” “I liked the novice film - it was awesome.” “I liked praying in lego because it was fabulous.” “Thank you for the amazing tunes the bells made and for teaching us how to use them.” “I loved the prayer journey because we made lots of cool stuff to bring home.” “I liked the stained glass windows because I love art.” “My favourite thing was making the fluffy sheep and putting googily eyes on them!” “I enjoyed all the activities especially learning how the monks told the time... I learnt a lot about God, Jesus and Christianity. I’d love to come back again. I liked it at the start when everybody was waving the flags...” “I liked the bit when we have to be silent. It was peaceful.” “I was in the Adventurers... We won the chocolate coins.” “Thank you for making it an amazing day at Lifepath, it was a brilliant school trip. I loved all the activities we did especially the one where we built an arch.” “I enjoyed being a monk with the black robes walking around the place being silent, and sign languages for monks. Nothing to improve on, it was excellent.” “Assemblies were amazing, the songs and actions too.” “The best for me was the medieval medicine because it was extremely fascinating and fun.” “I particularly enjoyed the brass rubbing, because they were all amazing pictures and patterns.” “I would like to thank you for teaching me more about Christianity and how important it is to Christians... I particularly enjoyed the prayer journey and watching our worries fizz away...” “I enjoyed this trip so much that I can’t think of anything you could have done better.” One boy wrote, “It went so fast because I was having such a good time.” In fact, the main ‘complaint’ was that there wasn’t enough time: children wanted longer for each activity (including lunch!) and they wanted to do everything that every other group did. Sadly, we just can’t fit any more in to the Lifepath Day - but better that children go away wanting more and asking to come again!
As for the amazing volunteers from so many different churches, one of them spoke for the team when she said: “I get so much more out of doing this than I put in”.
Please continue to thank God and pray for everyone who participated in this year’s Lifepath, and pray for the Steering Group now planning for Lifepath Malvern 20th to 24th June 2016.
For more information on Lifepath, please click here and you'll be re-directed to the Great Malvern Priory website.