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St John's Pilgrimage to Rome

February Half Term 2017 was when Sixth Form pupils travelled to Rome, Italy. A trip that many pupils had waited for since April the previous year.

The journey started leaving from school late Friday evening. After a tiring bus journey, we arrived at Gatwick Airport, with everyone exhausted we boarded the plane and after a quick, much needed sleep, we landed in Italy. "Breakfast at 7:30" was the one liner everyone wasn't keen to hear.

The first day seemed by far the longest, yet everyone seemed full of energy and raring to go, it was spent visiting sights such as The Spanish Steps, The Trevi Fountain and a few ice cream shop stops but an early evening was needed to prepare for the rest of the trip.

The second day was spent visiting The Colosseum, a beautiful sight to see on a gorgeous day, seeing where those historical events took place was something spectacular, however meeting the 'Pope' on a street corner that same day was a shock to say the least!

On the third day, we walked across the border (a tile's width) from Rome into the Vatican City.  The Sistine Chapel and museums were amazing – we were all amazed at the art, sculptures and tapestries that we saw.  We also visited the beautiful Saint Peter's Basilica and all were in awe at the sights we saw, including a procession of pilgrims through the Church.  Some staff and pupils walked to the top of the dome to see the City of Rome from the rooftop – a magical and breath-taking moment to treasure.

Our last day arrived all too quickly, and we were leaving this gorgeous place, however, we had time for one last landmark stop, The Catacombs of San Sebastiano, a very eerie but enchanting place.

Rome is a very beautiful country and to be the first year group to be able to visit such a place as a school was a real privilege, I wish I could do it all over again. Staff, clergy and pupils got along in a way that is unimaginable in a normal school setting, to see this is rare, I feel extremely grateful to the Religious Education department for all your hard work for making this trip happen, on behalf of myself and all the pupils who were fortunate enough to go on this outstanding trip, we would like to thank you for making it an unforgettable experience.