Thirty two students, four teachers, four ex-students and two coach drivers set off on an adventure in July, some old hands and some not really knowing what was in store. All I knew was that there would be wheelchair pushing and mass. Those who had been before kept up the refrain "you'll love it, Lourdes is great" without explaining why or what made it so great. I discovered that all the volunteers are put to work from 7:00am until 10:00pm each day, and the work they do is to bond with, care for, and yes, wheel around people who would not be able to be there without this help. What was wonderful to witness was the willingness of all the members to get involved. Whether it was water duty, holding up banners, choir singing or spending time with the assisted pilgrims, each encounter building bonds and relationships. The chance to serve in such a direct way is a transforming experience for all who participate. It is an incredible gift for anyone, but particularly a young person to discover the joy that this brings. Lourdes is a place for both healing and discovery, a pilgrimage that is forever cherished by those who go.
Abigail Gorton, Head of Music