Over the course of a whole year, ‘The Wayfarers’ offered a way to retreat with Godly Play. A group of 17 adults journeyed together fortnightly, some meeting in the daytime, others in the evenings. Twelve made it right through to the end. All felt like pilgrims and those who had to stop part way had still journeyed a long way and left reluctantly.
Each Godly Play session was an hour and a half long and over the year the Wayfarers wandered through all the core stories in turn and season. They grew comfortable and evolved their own way of being together; from the floor, they progressed to chairs with cushions on the seat and at their feet; two even told a story. From heading straight for the security of books in the response time, most tried out response materials, and the labyrinth when the weather was warm, although evening travellers often preferred just to keep on wondering! One brought wood carving tools and continued a 10-year project of whittling an innkeeper to add to a Holy Family set; another began a personal reflective diary, completed just as the course ended.
Did we have all the time we needed? In one sense, no; each session could have stretched to three hours easily. Yet in another sense, yes. We became aware gradually that we were all on a pilgrimage together quite outside time, and our work in that place continued with us as we left. We meet for a final meal together soon and then a retreat day, at which point, perhaps, we’ll be ready to greet the ‘beginning to every ending…’