A Young Leader’s update from the Archbishop of York's Youth Trust Pilgrimage to Taizé....
Prayer, friends and peace; all of these co-exist at Taizé. Even though I was expecting Taizé to be an exciting and interesting experience, I didn’t realise the things we would be involved with, and I have been surprised at how warm and friendly the people visiting Taizé have been.
At first, socialising was a struggle for me as I found myself lacking confidence and it felt awkward to start conversations. Yet, after spending some time in Taizé, I realised that people are kind hearted and non-judgemental. I was able to slowly come out of my shell and converse with others after a very short period of time. I have got to know people from all over the world and have experienced different languages and cultures here. From now on, I've learnt that one of the easiest ways to meet new people is by making yourself approachable and confident – even if it's forced confidence as that's the first step towards real confidence.
Another thing that I have found challenging has been the period of silence as part of the prayers - which at first - I found hard to cope with. At the start of the week I felt inclined to speak or move during this time and this made me feel anxious as I was afraid I would make an accidental noise! However, as the days have gone by, the silence seems to have become shorter and shorter. Now I feel disappointed when it ends, as it's become a chance for me to reflect without distractions. I feel able to relax and feel more comfortable in my surroundings.
Overall, I have formed a greater bond with both the people at Taizé and with God too.
Tala, aged 15
Young Leader, Holy Trinity Barnsley