Legge House 2000 - Paul, God’s PR Man

After the success of the 1999 retreat, BANG! returned to Legge House, near Swindon, in 2000 for a weekend packed with food, fun, friendship and thought. The theme, “Paul – God’s PR Man” was explored through three sessions with three different speakers.

Alan Bain, vicar of St. Philip and St. James’ church, Bath, examined “From Saul to Paul” (the conversion of Paul), making good use of the OHP we had to hand and getting us all to examine ourselves with a series of well thought out sheets.

The subject “God’s PR Man” (the missionary work of Paul) was explored by Michael Haslam, an Anglican priest from Minehead. Michael’s thought provoking session involved human sculpture (twice!) as well as group discussion, and highlighted some interestign comparisons of how missionary work has changed in 2000 years.

Finally, Sarah Sheppard (university Anglican chaplain) took on “Paul in trouble”, focusing on three aspects of Paul problems and how he dealt with them. This in turn fed into a look at how we could apply the principles of Paul’s problem solving to our own lives

Other activities were woven in amongst these sessions. The by now traditional walk saw BANG! battling the cold wind on the top the Ridgeway as they explored the remains of a Celtic fort and there was much playing of games and eating. The Saturday evening entertainment was either a night in the local pub or a video watching session in Legge House. The debate for next year could well be, ’“Bagpuss”, “Toy Story” or “Father Ted”: which is better?’

Perhaps the highlights of the weekend came at the beginning and end. Michael Haslam’s serivce of “Holy Ground” last thing on Friday evening was incredibly powerful, marking a clear start to the weekend. The communion service on Sunday morning, led by Barry Chapman (university Anglican chaplain) showed a real community spirit, for which the weekend was remarkable, and so was a wonderful conclusion for the retreat.

All in all, it was a weekend that will live long in the mind, a real break from the norm. There are too many people who deserve thanks, so all that will be said here is, if you helped out, thank you ever so much. Here’s to next year!