Sanctum – Gilberd School, day 4

SanctumGI4 Today has been a quieter day, not least because there were no lessons so the only times students could visit were break and lunch time.

With two hours to break time we started the day listening to a Rob Bell podcast on forgiveness (The unforgiving servant) and then took plenty of time to go round the room praying at each of the stations/activities. Other preparations each day include cutting out articles from the day’s newspapers for the ‘prayer for world events’ activity and putting all the MP3 players back in their requisite places and plugging the Mac Mini in for the “Stories” station. We take these small easily removable items home each night because, well… they are small and easily removable and we don’t want anyone to be tempted to remove them.

As before, break time was busy, up to the capacity of the room, but fairly calm. Some students are coming back to do some of the activities again, including the highly popular ‘holy space’ or quiet tent but they are also bringing friends who haven’t yet experienced Sanctum. Lunch time was very similar, with a mixture of familiar and new faces. We’ve found that Thursdays are often quieter as the novelty of Sanctum has worn off a bit. Some flit from one station to another, as if checking they haven’t missed anything. Others repeat activities in a way that is noticeably slower, deeper and more thoughtful. I chatted to a girl who was doing the forgiveness activity for a second time. She said that the first time she hadn’t really been able to think of any experience that related to it, but that thinking about it since then had inspired her to repeat the activity and that it had been really meaningful the second time. This is heartening because it shows that, for some at least, Sanctum is an experience that makes a lasting impact and inspires a degree of spiritual initiative.

While we were buying some lunch, one of the deputy head teachers bounced up to us with the school year planner in his hand and said, “Same time next year?” So Sanctum is booked to return to the school in July 2010, our first booking of the new school year!

I continue to be amazed and humbled by the impact that Sanctum has been having on many of the students who visit. Here’s what just some of them had to say today:

  • Sanctum makes me feel better. When I first came in I was really sad about what was happening around me. Sanctum helped me.
  • This has really helped me forgive people.
  • Helped me get rid of the pain inside me.
  • I love it. I thought it would be rubbish but it’s not! Thank you sooooooo much! x x


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