AIF Social Weekend: Friday 23rd - Sunday 25th February
Cornwall Road Community Centre, London
When those of us who were at the social weekend think about it, we remember the cold hard floor we slept on, the walks in the cold and the lack of showers, but we also remember the fun, the fellowship and friends that we shared the time with. I think we would all agree it was a great weekend!
We all gradually arrived at the Community Centre on Friday evening, all except Sarah Mayles, that is, as she was travelling from Cumbria and couldn't leave until after work. We grouped together to cook supper and generally catch up with everyone.
We held the YAG committee meeting, covering the forthcoming EYE weekend, Swanwick conference, the "Spirit of Youth" proposed project, the AIF web-site and the Interdependent. Various people took on new roles within the group. Mel, Mark and Laura will be working on the Swanwick conference agenda. I will be looking up entertainment for the weekend (any suggestions will be gratefully received!) Jen Brewin and Richard Lander will be working on the new proposed YAG pages of the UK AIF web-site. Our YAG secretary, Hannah Docherty, has had to stand down, due to other work commitments. Laura Finch and I will be co-secretaries instead. Thank you for all your hard work Hannah!
We decided to go for a late night walk down by the river Thames. A good chance to do a little sightseeing (in the dark!), and make plans for the rest for the weekend. We passed by some very strange statues - most memorable being an elephant with very long, skeleton-like legs! A little scary perhaps?! We met Sarah on our return and sat up in true YAG weekend style until the early hours of the morning!
Saturday morning we awoke to Bev's varying mobile tones, in an effort to get us out of bed. It certainly amused me when the 'William Tell Overture' began! After breakfast, we made our way to the Heythrop conference, which for me was a whole new experience, as I've never been able to attend before. It ran fairly similar to Swanwick, just on a much smaller scale. The YAG social group was joined by various

other members of YAG and the 11-14's group. We discussed Confirmation, following up from the Confirmation Conference for 15+ members, Sarah and Helena Mayles' recent Confirmation service (Congratulations!) and Laura Finch's forthcoming Affirmation service. The afternoon finished with a Catholic mass with the whole AIF group at Heythrop.
In the evening, we went out to Deep Pan Pizza in Piccadilly Circus, where I think one or two of us regretted quite how many slices of pizza we had eaten!!! Another late night of chatting, before returning to our makeshift beds on the floor.
Sunday morning brought a fabulous cooked breakfast prepared by Mel, Sarah and Peter, before we headed towards the river again for a boat tour along the Thames. We really were tourists! It was a fun sightseeing trip, particularly for those who don't get to visit London very often.
After returning to the Community Centre and having lunch, we packed our bags and had a quick tidy up, before we had to say Goodbye. I think all would agree that it was a great weekend and a group of weary YAG members headed for their trains back home. Jen received some sad family news just before we left, so our thoughts and prayers are with Jen and her family at this sad time. Thank you to everyone who was at the weekend for making it so special and so much fun, and for those who couldn't attend, I hope to see you next year!!!

Jane Smith

The social weekend was brilliant, probably the best yet because we got so much done! It was great being in London, to see it by night and from the river on Sunday morning. It was also good to be included in Heythrop on the Saturday. The best thing was probably being with all my friends in the same place for a whole weekend and loads of thanks to Bev and Mel for organising it!!

Laura Finch

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