Friday, April 06, 2012

New Wimbledon HCPT Group 729 -Team Donhead

Following  many years of  pilgrimaging to Lourdes with HCPT  I expected to bow out hopefully gracefully, with the handing over of the Group 35 leadership to a new energetic group leader in November 2011. However the headmaster of Donhead then told me of his long standing enthusiasm for a new group to be formed for old boys of Donhead and  their sisters and friends to be encouraged to serve other HCPT pilgrimage groups thus helping them and in so doing  hopefully strengthening their own characters. As a result  an application  to form the new group was made to the HCPT trustees during the Christmas holidays along the following lines:

.... Donhead was extremely supportive in connection with fundraising, providing helpers, minibus transport and facilities for our get-togethers and days of preparation.  ...the Headmaster has been quite keen on establishing an auxiliary HCPT  group of Donhead old boys and their sisters to act in very much the same way as other auxiliary groups ... Whilst I was Group 35 leader forming a new Donhead group was felt to be a step too far but   he   has just asked me if  HCPT would now  permit a  new Donhead HCPT auxiliary group to be established and... I said that I would enquire to see whether his idea was approved by HQ...


To  cut a long story short, the trustees then  gave their blessing to the inauguration of the new HCPT Team Donhead Group 729 as a services group for the London Beaumont Region of HCPT.  Our inaugural pilgrimage group comprises two 16 year old, former Donhead boys; a   young chaplain from Nigeria and 4 old and not so old hands from Group 35 so much to my surprise and delight  the pilgrimaging continues albeit in a different form. As stated recently to other London Beaumont Group leaders:

Group 729’s first pilgrimage to Lourdes will to some extent be experimental as  LBR family groups’ needs and wants and our abilities to assist will  have to be tested.. Although the group numbers are limited we abound with enthusiasm so individual LBR groups should please feel  to suggest areas in which Group 729 members may be able to help ....
The French authorities have been amazingly helpful in granting a French viistors'  visa in double quick time to facilitate Father Francis coming with us on what will be his first trip to Lourdes. We set off on Easter Sunday.

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