The big question by November 2008 was whether Group 35 could sensibly travel
at all during the 2009 pilgrimage. Two of our long established helpers had
married and their good news of a first baby due around Easter meant
that they could not come to Lourdes then though all 3 expect to
pilgrimage with the Group in 2010. Many other helpers simply
could not afford the swingeing fares' hikes, which coupled with the devaluation of
the £ sterling against the Euro, means that cost became a far
bigger issue than normal.
I put on hold, the recruiting of child pilgrims but with Paul the
Deputy leader, deferred taking the decision about whether to travel until
December to provide time for prayers and research.
Happily a school half way down
the A3 trunk road from Wimbledon almost immediately answered our request for volunteers
just in time for the Regional Preparation day so HCPT Group 35 is up and running.
We have just finished the Group pre-pilgrimage get to gether, where the enthusiasm
and atmosphere were so positive that 2009 is surely going to be
every bit as fulfilling for Child and Helper pilgrims alike
as all other past years have been.
Very pleased that the recession did not cause the Group to
stand down for 2009.