Sunday, 21 February 2016

Setting up camp

Dome of the church standing out against the dark sky.
With it being so cold, wet and miserable at the moment, it is very difficult to imagine that Easter is just a few weeks away, but the tell-tale signs of tents going up in Taizé mean that time is moving on and soon there will be thousands of people up on the hill again.

It is a Herculean task to get all the tents up every year and that is just one small part of the impressive organisation that goes on, in and around the Taizé complex, to house and nourish the thousands that turn up every year.

Hawthorn just coming into flower - must be spring
On Sunday we went for a walk to have a look at progress. It is a very pleasant walk from here to Taizé via the forest and then back through Ameugny and Chazelle. It takes us a leisurely 45 minutes to walk to Taizé, just perfect for a Sunday afternoon constitutional, a chance to get out, get some fresh air and enjoy our surroundings. It is always a very peaceful walk, surprisingly few people take that route.

The big church overflow tents are the first to go up
While we were in Taizé, we took the opportunity to have a wander around the old village. We bumped into several groups of Americans and Germans whilst visiting the Romanesque church. We also met quite a large number of very young French people.

It is half-term here and groups of youngsters are encouraged to spend a few days in Taizé. The brothers organise short taster sessions (weekends or mid-week stays) for groups of 14 to 16 year olds - younger than the usual crowd. Their stay is not quite as intense as for the older ones who spend a week here in the summer months and these youngsters are accompanied by a number of adult helpers.

Hundreds of huge accommodation tents
under construction
But the main action, in the community, is the putting up of tents. You can see how large the tents are and how many of them there are, much better when they aren’t covered in canvas, the rows seems to go on forever.

So, it won’t be long now and spring will be here with Easter bringing us warmer, dryer weather. At least I hope so, for all those campers.

For holiday accommodation within walking distance of Taizé click here.

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