Lourdes Pilgrimage ‘Red Cap’ / St Frai helper

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  • Afternoons
  • Evenings
  • General Volunteering
  • Mornings
  • Volunteering Abroad
  • Weekday
  • Weekend
  • 65100 Lourdes, France
  • Minimum Age: 16+

Diocese of Westminster

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster serves London north of the Thames and Hertfordshire

Are you ready to volunteer and make a difference in Lourdes?

For all young people over 16! Here’s an opportunity for you to volunteer and make a difference to people’s lives!

Every year, the Diocese of Westminster takes a pilgrimage to Lourdes in the French Pyrenees. The site of a series of apparitions of Our Lady to St Bernadette, Lourdes is now a place of healing visited by 5 million Roman Catholics each year.

They bring their sick and disabled on pilgrimage and there have been many documented miracle cures. The Westminster group is no exception. We bring a large number of sick pilgrims and rely on the help of people like you to care for them.

If you are between 16 and 18, you can serve as a ‘Red Cap’, helping push pilgrims in wheelchairs around Lourdes and taking part in the processions as part of the liturgy.

Please request contact with Katrina Lavery at if you would like to learn more about being a Red Cap in Lourdes.

If you are over 18, your help would be very much appreciated as a St Frai Helper. Some of our sick pilgrims in most need of support and medical care stay in a hospital-like building called the Accueil Marie St Frai in the centre of Lourdes. It is well-equipped for their care and they are looked after by a team of doctors, nurses and volunteer St Frai Helpers.

The role of a St Frai helper is to support the nurses and provide the sort of care for which you don’t need a medical qualification. This includes helping the pilgrims get up and ready in the morning; making large amounts of tea; cleaning the wards; taking the pilgrims to various pilgrimage events; shopping and socialising with them and other helpers; and putting them to bed at night. The timetable is shared across two shifts so there is enough time to rest, make your own pilgrimage, spend time with your groups and make new friends.

All helpers work in small teams with team leaders to look after you and help you in what you are doing. Although plenty of people come back year after year, at least half the people in your team will, like you, be working in the St Frai for the first time. We run training for all helpers beforehand and ensure that you are happy and supported in everything you do.

Helping in the St Frai is an extremely moving and rewarding experience. Working in the St Frai is an opportunity to give our care and company to our pilgrims and make a huge difference in their lives.

If you’re interested in being a St Frai Helper for Westminster Diocese in Lourdes, please request contact with Chief Brancardier Nick Leonard and the team.

Serving on a pilgrimage to Lourdes in any capacity is a hugely rewarding experience and an opportunity to make a very positive difference in the lives of the people we care for.

The Diocese of Westminster in Lourdes. Committed to a culture of Safeguarding https://rcdow.org.uk/safeguarding/

Katrina Lavery – Youth Coordinator, Westminster Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage
Nick Leonard – Chief Brancardier, Westminster Diocesan Lourdes Pilgrimage

Tagged as: Befriending / Visiting / Caring, Supporting / Advising

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