One of the best attended HCPT days of preparation that I can recall for some years took place earlier today.
Possibly the fact that 2016 is the 60th anniversary of the founding of HCPT by Brother Michael Strode has resulted in the increase numbers.
In 1956 the then Doctor Strode started the Trust now known as HCPT with a handful of young people and helpers when as an expert medic he took 4 disabled children from Chailey Heritage to Lourdes.
The HCPT pilgrimage to Lourdes over Easter Week these days usually numbers some 5000 mainly young people and there is much to celebrate.
The day of preparation at St Georges Weybridge was attended by dozens of young, and one or two older helpers, nurses and chaplains. Much was learned about medical and some difficult behavioural aspects of life which can affect us all and how best to enhance peoples' lives during their week away in Lourdes.
Of course there was time for helpers, some of whom had never been to Lourdes or met each other before, to converse and get to know each other.
Lunch included bacalavas prepared by group 729 old hand Bernadette who with her sister over from Baghdad to assist with Bernie's own recovery from an hospital stay, had made some delicious Middle Eastern fare.
Bernadette who is currently convalescing could not herself attend the preparation day this year though all catering went down a treat with those who did. Bernie promises to be fit by Easter.
Our new helpers appeared to find the day very fulfilling albeit just a little tiring, all of which augurs well for the HCPT pilgrimage to Lourdes over Easter.