And so, the end of a great week at Colchester Royal Grammar School. There have been a few challenging responses, but I can’t help but feel that if we’re getting this right there should be some who find it somewhat out of their comfort zone. For the vast majority Sanctum has been an oasis of peace and a welcome stimulus to thinking abut their own lives and the lives of others.
Over the week we’ve been jotting down the things pupils say during the feedback session at the end of lessons. Many of them spoke of a sense of peace, of feeling relaxed. Quite a few said they felt they’d been able to let go of things from their past. As I mentioned previously, the activity focusing on human traffiking produced strong reactions: “shocked”, “made me think”, “horrible”, “the stories were moving”, “made me appreciate the life I have”. Pupils appreciated the sense of space they had and the anonymity of their responses – writing a note for others to see about something you’re sorry for is quite a vulnerable exercise. On boy speaking to another in the ‘be still’ zone said, “I’m a busy boy – this is not easy!”
As ever, over a week of Sanctum, a few pupils become regulars, returning several times to repeat activities. One of my favourite moments has been seeing one boy who initially was responding superficially and slightly inappropriately but as the week went on was taking more time to chat to us and was drawing his friends into honest, thoughtful and theological discussions.
Here are a few final words from pupils who contributed their thoughts to our “Just a coincidence, or maybe God” activity.