20 July - 29 July
Every year, thousands of young people from across the world journey to Taizé to meet with God and others through prayer, discussion, silence, fun and a shared way of living. Many find that it is an opportunity to explore faith, reflect on the direction of their lives, build important relationships and to discover more about who they are called to be.
Here is the experience of Ben Neville from Emmanuel Wylde Green, when he joined us on the Taize pilgrimage this summer
"So how I can in a short paragraph describe my week in Taize. There is just so much I would love to share with you all, but if I had to use one word to describe my week it would be 'incredible'.
This was my third time to Taize, but none of my previous trips to Taize prepared me for the week God had planned for me. Firstly, I got to travel with the most incredible people from our Diocese, I feel really privileged to have walked with them during our week in Taize. During the week we had so many laughs, but also many prayer filled moments.
In the morning we joined the brothers and the rest of Taize in morning prayer which then lead into breakfast. Once breakfast was finished you would gather for bible study with one of the brothers from the community. Once the brother had finished talking about the scripture we had heard we were split up into little groups to explore the scripture in more depth. I was in a group with 7 other people my age from around the world and the friendship I formed with them I cannot put into words, all I can say is it was a very emotional goodbye at the end of the week.
It's really hard to explain Taize in words as I don't truly think words give a true essence of Taize, you have to be there to fully feel what it is all about. Taize brings everyone from all walks of life and brings them together as one Christian family. It is a place where friendships are formed and where everyone comes together to share in their faith. For me it was a very affirming week, as at the moment I am currently going through the discernment process for ordained ministry with the Diocese and Taize gave me the chance to be away from the noise of life to the quietness where God could speak to me, as it is in the quietness that we find God. During my time in Taize affirmed for me again the call that God is calling me to ordained ministry.
For me I believe that everyone has a place on the earth which for them is a little piece of heaven and that place for me is Taize and I'm already looking forward to returning. So, I would strongly encourage you to journey to Taize, to experience the peace, beauty and friendship that you find at Taize."
What is Taizé?
Taizé is a small village in the beautiful countryside of Burgundy, eastern France. In 1940, when he was 25, Roger Schütz-Marsauche arrived there from Switzerland, seeking to found a community that would be a sign of peace and reconciliation in war-torn Europe.
After the War, Roger and seven other men pledged themselves to living together as a monastic community. Today there are around 100 brothers in the Community. They come from many different countries and from various Christian backgrounds. Most are based in Taizé, but some live in smaller groups amongst some of the poorest neighbourhoods in the world.
What happens at Taizé?
Throughout the year, the brothers welcome young people to share their way of life. Most arrive on Sunday and stay for a week. In the summer there can be several thousand visitors each week.
Prayer is central to life in Taizé. Three times a day, everyone gathers to meet with God through songs, Bible readings and silence. The style of worship is relaxed and contemplative, using the sung ‘chants’ which have become well-known in churches around the world.
Each day, the brothers lead Bible studies that are followed by times of reflection and discussion in small groups. Visitors also spend time helping with practical tasks - like preparing meals and washing up - but there is plenty of free time, too! In the evening many people go to ‘Oyak’, a social outdoor meeting area where food and drink are sold and where people gather to party and make new friends.
Being with so many others opens up many interesting conversations, even across language barriers. Yet it is also easy to find personal space if you want it, either outdoors or in one of the quiet chapels.
The brothers do not want to impose their beliefs on those who come to Taizé, recognising that people come from diverse places and are at different points on their spiritual journey. However, they do ask that everyone participates fully in all aspects of the common life and weekly program.
Who is it for?
Bishop Anne and Emma Sargeant are facilitating a Youth Pilgrimage for anyone ages 15-29 from the 28 July to 6 August 2018. The trip is for youth groups and individuals alike but if you are under 18 you need to come with a youth group leader from your own church you cannot attend alone, over 18’s may join us on an individual basis. Its open to anyone with faith or without.
How will we travel?
We will travel by coach and ferry, leaving from Birmingham/ More info to follow.
What is the cost?
The cost of the coach for summer 2019 was £125 (under 25s) and £145 (over 25s).
The Taize contribution for under 30s for summer 2019 was £70 and for those over 30 is £140.
We will update in the New Year when we understand further the impact of Brexit and have final confirmation of 2020 prices.
What will we eat?
The money that visitors contribute for their stay covers breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food is simple but sufficient. It is possible to buy additional snacks at ‘Oyak’.
Contact Emma Sargeant with any questions and to express your interest.
You may also like to look at the Taizé website.
‘Our world ... needs women and men
who radiate God’s peace by their lives.
So let us make courageous decisions
to go forward on the road of love and trust.’