To apply for this event you will first need to create an account with us. Once logged in, you will need to return to this page and click the “Apply Now” button. You will then receive an email to confirm your application has been received.
- This years’ pilgrimage is open to all those in schools years 10 and above
- We would ask that those who travel with us have been double vaccinated and received a booster vaccination, where eligible. (If for any reason you are medically exempt from receiving the COVID-19 vaccination and wish to travel, please contact us directly).
Please read this page carefully before applying.
The BCYS Summer Lourdes Pilgrimage is one of our most popular annual events and is always heavily oversubscribed, with around 250 young pilgrims and volunteer leaders travelling.
The week is spent travelling alongside the main Diocesan pilgrimage as we assist the elderly and infirm, particularly those in wheelchairs, to get to Masses and services, visiting the shops and cafes of the beautiful French town, as well as joining them for social time together, as for many pilgrims, it is one of the few times they are able to leave their house.
For those travelling with the BCYS, the week will also include a retreat, reconciliation service, the chance to visit the baths, a trip to the stunning mountain town of Gavarnie (part of a UNESCO World Heritage site), social nights and party as well as experiencing the Lourdes Torchlight Procession and Blessed Sacrament Procession.
The pilgrimage is open to all those in school year 10 – 13, with all those of school leaver age (18+) invited to join us as young leaders (subject to attending a training weekend, see details below).
This year’s pilgrimage will be leaving Brentwood on Sunday 23rd July and returning on Sunday 30th July.
Exact timings will be confirmed in early 2023.
The cost of the trip is £655 (£605 for leaders). This includes coach travel, hotels, insurance, excursions, all meals in Lourdes and a Lourdes polo shirt and hoody for each participant.
Bursary and grant funding is available from the Catenians, Jack Petchey and BCYS, among others and we would be happy to share any more information on these, as well as fundraising ideas within your parishes or schools. Please do not be put off attending this trip due to cost.
Travel to Lourdes will be by coach, with pick ups from Stratford, Colchester and Brentwood before beginning the 20 hour drive to Lourdes.
We ask every participant on the trip to adhere to the latest public health guidance which we will summarise for you in the 6 weeks prior to the trip. Due to the close contact with vulnerable adults during this trip, we would advise that all those travelling are vaccinated. If you start showing symptoms of Covid 19 prior to travel please take an LFT. Anyone testing positive with Covid 19 at the point of travel will not be able to join the pilgrimage.
Due to Brexit, individuals with a British passport will need to apply for a Visa to travel to France.
If you do not have a UK passport, please do check and apply for the relevant documentation.
The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will now be replaced by the GHIC which will also need to be obtained by the individual before travelling.
For those in Years 10 - 12
Sunday 2nd July – Pre-Trip Information Meeting
2:30pm at Walsingham House at Abbotswick, Navestockside, Nr Brentwood, CM14 5SH
All of those who are travelling, plus their parents/guardians are warmly invited to this pre-trip meeting where you will meet the groups you will be spending time with in Lourdes, find out your room shares, coach travel allocations and collect your polo shirts and hoodies for the week.
For parents, there will be an opportunity for you to hear more about the trip from Gabriella Skinner (Events and Pilgrimages Coordinator) and Claire Bailey (Director of Youth Ministry), and ask any questions or bring up any concerns you might have.
Whilst we are in Lourdes we will also have a medical team accompany us, so if there are any concerns particularly around health or wellbeing which you wish to discuss with them then they will be more than willing to give you that opportunity.
For those in Year 13
For those who have not travelled with us before, the year 13s in our group in Lourdes have traditionally had a slightly larger role to play in the pilgrimage – we recognise that most of you will be 18 when we travel and will hopefully carry on to become leaders in the future, and we want to nurture and encourage this!
A large part of the week will be spent accompanying Fr Bob Hamill, who travels with a group of adults with additional needs, and providing extra assistance to the main adult pilgrimage, or taking on stewarding and marshalling the larger events in Lourdes, among others.
So that we can meet you, you can meet each other and we can give you a little more information and opportunity to ask questions about this role, we would like to invite you to Walsingham House at Abbotswick on Sunday 2nd July from 1pm. We will have lunch and refreshments for you, and would then invite you to stay and your parents to join us for the whole group pre-trip meeting at 2:30pm.
For Young Leaders (those aged 18+)
For anyone who is age 18 or over (having left school) we invite to come on pilgrimage as a young leader, which means you will be responsible for a small group of those in year 10 – 12 throughout the week.
Due to the nature of this role, you will need to complete a DBS check with the Diocese (we will be in touch to arrange this with you!)
It is also compulsory to attend the Leaders Training weekend which will take place on both Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd July at Walsingham House. It will begin at 10:00am on Saturday 1st July, and accommodation and all meals will be provided for the weekend. (More details will follow!)
As well as opportunities with the BCYS, there are also additional roles with the Diocese for those over 18.
If you would be interested in volunteering with Fr Bob in Lourdes, you can email Aileen Parsons at [email protected] for more information.
If you would be interested in supporting the medical team, or assisting with the adult pilgrimage in any way, you can email [email protected]
Applications will be open from 24th October and places will then be confirmed in the first week of February.
The first 125 places will be offered to those from school years 10—12.
Up to 25 places will be offered to those in school year 13.
Places will be allocated to ensure as many parishes and schools as possible from the diocese are represented.
Where we receive a large number from one school or parish, places will be allocated on a “first come, first served” basis.
THIS EVENT IS ALWAYS HUGELY OVERSUBSCRIBED, SO WE DO ENCOURAGE BOOKING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
If you have any questions or concerns please speak to us as soon as possible, by emailing [email protected]