Kintbury All-Age Week 2019: Weaving the Eucharist into our Everyday Lives
KINTBURY ALL-AGE SUMMER WEEK 2019: PARTICIPANT’S REPORT
‘Blessed, broken, poured out, shared: Living Eucharistically’
Ably and enthusiastically led by Rebekah O’keeffe we were invited to discover how we could live our lives more eucharistically. Various stimulating sessions challenged us to be more blessed, broken, poured out, and shared, and how they could be woven into our daily lives.
The core symbol of the week was a “rescued” child’s plastic hoola hoop which formed the frame of a weaving project which everyone on the week participated in.
During stimulating sessions we explored and reflected on practical ways in which we could live our everyday lives eucharistically. As part of a week where the catering was ‘self-help’ a sense of community was generated around the washing up sink, but rising at 4.00 am when it was your turn to make bread was a challenge for some.
An evening speaker was Sr. Margaret Atkins of the Augustinian Canonesses of the Mercy of Jesus from Boarbank Hall Cumbria. Sr. Margaret had spoken at last year’s Adoremus Congress in Liverpool on eating at home as a family in a Eucharistic way. Joy and Carmel Wanless contributed by way of a video on walking along side people in a Eucharistic way in their counselling work.
There was mention of ‘righteous anger’ being part of Eucharistic living when one morning saw two members of the week speak of their actions, one in bringing God’s message to fellow protesters opposing fracking, and the other in their fight against the social injustice of changes to the family benefits system and the serious implications of the ‘two child rule’. They were followed by another visiting speaker, Sandra Ruiz, a leading figure in pursuit of justice following the Grenfell fire in which her young niece had lost her life. Sandra’s powerful presentation can be viewed here.
Chaplain Fr. Peter Hunter led inspiring liturgies with thought provoking homilies, and hardworking organiser Brid Fitzpatrick was tireless to ensure everything went smoothly.
On one morning of the week a small group visited the ‘New Beginnings’ project in Reading providing help to homeless families in need in the local area. Run by a team of unpaid volunteers in a former pub “The Queens Arms”, it receives valuable contributions from local supermarkets particularly by Costco. The group took along shoes which members of the week had brought to donate.
As usual the “Helpers” Lorna, Tom, Esther, and Jez were a pain – I mean great!
A large part of any CPW gathering is the talents each person young and old contribute. This was more than demonstrated during the traditional end of week concert. Whilst it is unfair to single out individual performances the scintillating Dvorak piano duet by Chris and Wilf was worthy of any performance at the Bridgewater Hall, and the slick patter and mystifying legerdemain of 12 year old conjurer Declan left the audience spellbound.
The staff at St Cassian’s Centre were welcoming, friendly, and helpful and the food was excellent. However perhaps for future weeks they could find time to prepare a decent cricket pitch. It was hard enough coping with the rain interruptions without the additional difficulty of an uneven bounce!
- Dave Yates