During the 2010 HCPT Easter Pilgrimage to Lourdes Group 152 celebrated its 30th anniversary. The group celebrated this milestone by having a Mass of thanksgiving at Allen Hall Seminary in Chelsea, west London recently, with members past and present including the founder of the group, Fr Perry Sykes.
Based at the seminary, the group was started in 1980 by Fr Perry and other students for the priesthood, with the aim of giving young people, whatever their level of need, an opportunity to visit Lourdes and to give students an experience of working with and looking after children.
Students with Allen Hall have continued to travel to Lourdes each year with HCPT ever since. The group benefits greatly from the support of past members of the group who have gone onto become priests around the country; the chaplain, Fr Jonathan Stewart is a past student and the current Rector, Mgr Mark O’Toole is one of the group’s earliest members.
During this year’s pilgrimage ten of the seminarians travelled as helpers – a record for the group, reflecting, in particular, the enthusiasm of returning helpers! This meant that Group 152 was able to give 12 children the HCPT Easter experience and it is hoped that the group will continue to give this opportunity to children for many more years to come.
For more information about HCPT see: www.hcpt.org.uk/
To find out more about Allen Hall, see: www.allenhall.org.uk/