BANG!

university of bath anglican society

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Past Events – Retreat 2007

Retreat '07 - Friday 23 - Sunday 25 February

BANG! Retreat 2007 - report by Thomas Morley, Chair

We departed Bath Spa (the station not the university) at teatime on Friday, our antics getting on the train setting the tone for much of the weekend: we ran to the end of the platform to the only door lacking a crowd, which was found to be the guards van open for bicycles! After finding seats and settling down we were disembarking at Swindon, where upon we met with our Oxford-based alumni. Un pain au chocolat later and we were walking to the bus station and identifying our bus to Wroughton. While we were waiting to pull out, a fight erupted nearby and we had privileged seats with a full view, though no bets were placed on the outcome! On arriving in Wroughton we discussed our favourite haunt, the Co-Op, while Andrew became excited at the prospect of a hypothetical Waitrose. Later that evening a raiding-party consisting of Anne and myself was dispatched to fetch candles and cornflakes from the aforementioned Co-Op: how could Ed forget cornflakes? Soon we were walking through the familiar churchyard past the church to Legge House, where we met up with the advance party of Antony, Angela and Ed, plus the aroma of Ed's curry fermenting on the stove. After a mild curry (the aforementioned Ed had been warned!) and rice plus cake the entertainment began. It was revealed that there were contracts out on all present, which could be fulfilled by having the target say a trigger-word. Some soon fell victim to such words as "quidditch", while the game's erstwhile inventor was eventually ensnared with a "witness". Antony proved to be especially skilful, and eventually escaped on the Saturday evening still intact.

We proceeded through the first session of "galloping through the bible", which involved a pub quiz (minus the pub) on the bible from Genesis to Revelation, and a reflection on the significance of the bible even in a secular society - everyone knows some of the content, and it is the bestselling book in the world (not counting those copies freely distributed!) so little wonder it always appears in pub quizzes! The session was followed by a plethora of fun and games: such wonders were enjoyed as the human knot, the sending-Ed/Sam-blindfolded-through-the-minefield game and the challenge of sneaking past a blindfolded torch-wielding guard. The fun part was lurking six inches behind him for five minutes without him noticing until his blindfold came off!

Saturday morning brought with it Stephen's solitary sunrise walk and a cooked breakfast. The second session brought us through the Old Testament, looking at its various characters and their endearing (and less endearing) features; this led to a eulogy of Gideon lasting ten minutes before the person ranting finally finished (for those of you who don't know, Gideon was chair of BANG! thousands of years ago when we had but three hundred members selected by how they drank at the pool). Lunch was followed by a very brief siesta for some, then the third and final session on the New Testament. This, while the climax of Antony's "gallop through the bible", was punctuated by various people dozing at various times, luckily I was hiding behind Ed and so was not caught. We then proceeded to the Walk which saw us wandering in the wrong direction, and abandoning a splinter group to their fate: "They've got the map, they'll be alright!" in the overconfident tones of those who don't need the map. After saying goodbye to Antony and Angela (needed for duties back in Bath) we continued over stiles and across fields around Wroughton until we returned to Legge House for cake, tea, more cake and random games involving animal calls, with Andrew choosing the wrong driveway and nearly walking up to a random house. At some point the contract assassination game was won by Adam, though it transpired Sam missed the opportunity to enforce Adam's contract earlier and it was declared a draw. The Saturday night also had the distinction of being the earliest night on a BANG! retreat in living memory, with everyone going to bed by midnight!

Sunday began with breakfast, a fine way to start. Group photos finished with Ed running away to the birthday party in Bath of someone referred to as "Lovejoy", at which Katie expressed her revulsion of the television programme of the same name, while Stephen and I leapt to its defence. We then proceeded to Wroughton Parish Church for the Eucharist, though without the virtuoso singing of last year. The sermon was highly pertinent about temptation to riches and knighthoods, and the peace lasted for ten minutes while everyone wandered up and down. After refreshments in the North aisle and various chats with the locals, we returned to Legge House for packing, lunch and cleaning before departing with lifts to Swindon station courtesy of the warden! The welcome back to Bath ranked alongside that at Swindon bus station, but cannot be repeated here for sake of public decency…