Weekend 28 Report

Weekend 28
Weekend 28
Weekend 28
Weekend 28
Weekend 28
Weekend 28
Weekend 28
Weekend 28

Weekend #28 - Lay Rector’s Report

What a wonderful, uplifting experience! London Cursillo #28 couldn’t have been better. I was nervous about taking on the role of Lay Rector because it is such a huge responsibility and I didn’t want to let down the pilgrims or the staff. I had, however, so much help from Jane Coan, both when I was Observing Lay Rector and in the weeks leading up to Weekend #28, that many of my fears were dispersed. I also knew that I was held in prayer by many people, which was such an enormous help.

Fifteen members of the staff team, including me, the Lay Rector, arrived at St. Katherine’s on the morning of Thursday October 30th, 2014 in high spirits. After our staff meetings and other preparations, we gathered in the entrance hall to greet our pilgrims. They all duly arrived and were welcomed – I was particularly pleased to greet a pilgrim from my own church.  Then, due to an administrative misunderstanding, an additional pilgrim turned up. After a few moments of shock, she was welcomed and luckily a room was available for her. Everyone co-operated in the task of providing extra materials, both staff and Cursillistas at home.  It was all a wonderful example of Christian love in action. The pilgrim in question was very appreciative of all that was done for her. She gained so much from the weekend, that it was clearly God’s plan for her to be with us.

We were blessed with good weather for most of the weekend. Although it was the end of October, the temperatures were mild and the sun shone. We only had rain on Sunday and that didn’t dampen our spirits, which were high throughout the weekend. From start to finish there was a wonderful atmosphere of joy and happiness. The Holy Spirit was definitely with us the whole time. I could not have had a better team or a better group of pilgrims.

For me, music is an important part of worship. I am with St. Augustine when he said, ‘To sing is to pray twice’. The pilgrims and staff sang with gusto – we had some people there, both staff and pilgrims, with lovely voices - and we had some wonderfully rousing hymns in the ‘singing slot’ on Saturday, culminating in some spontaneous dancing. Ian, who was staffing for the first time, led the music excellently.

The talks, formerly known as ‘Rollos’, were of an exceptionally high standard and many speakers were afterwards approached by the pilgrims, who said how helpful the talks had been and how much they had gained from them.

There were many highs during the weekend: the talks, the singing, the meditations, the Eucharists, the visitations, the varied activities, the fun, the table fellowship. The food at St. Katherine’s, too, is always delicious

I want to thank all the staff for being such a wonderful group. I think we were a happy ship! And a big thank you to the 11 pilgrims, who were marvellous. We all carried away with us a spiritual high from London #28 which, for me, has lasted.

Pilgrim's Reflections

“I didn’t know what to expect and found the experience humbling.  I found the best thing was to let go, let God in and embrace Him."
- Gary Brown

“I felt very supported and uplifted by everyone during the weekend.  I was completely overwhelmed by all the good wishes and prayers."
- Sara Pask

“Oh my goodness, what shall I say!  It was just ahhhhh....... – a feeling of being totally loved by people, some of whom I don’t even know, from all over the world.  The weekend was an emotional journey for me, spiritually uplifting and in a nutshell, overwhelming.  It was a privilege to attend.”  
- Jackie Peters

“For me the weekend was a love experience – genuine love from everyone.  I hope I shall have the opportunity to return to give back all that I received.  The weekend was an amazing journey – a real blessing.”
- Annette Hercules

“It is now a full 2 months since Cursillo #28  which, for me, was absolutely wonderful and just what I needed. To be surrounded by unconditional love and accepted for who and what I am - warts and all - was overwhelming and humbling in equal measures. And it hasn't stopped there; something mega shifted for me that weekend and neither I nor life will ever be quite the same again. Much to my surprise I find I am craving space and silence around me which would, until a very short time ago, have represented a huge personal threat. Maybe that is why I seem to have spent so much of my life emulating the proverbial headless chicken!

Reading this you might well be feeling that I will come back down to earth again very soon now! Well, I'm not so daft as to think that challenges won't come my way and probably thick and fast - they are already so doing - but now I know for sure I am no longer alone.

I went on this weekend with an open mind plus, I will freely admit, some apprehension but without a "shopping list". All I can say is that if I had had such a list, then everything on it would have been ticked and ten times over!! The staff members, ordained and lay, dovetailed perfectly with each other to create an impressive team.

The only way I can liken all that happened is to when one is in the Alps and the cloud stays resolutely down. People all around assure you that the mountains are there - and that they are truly magnificent in their splendour. OK; you don't actually disbelieve them, but all you can do is take it on trust and hope that all these people aren't deluded, even if your intellect tells you that such a united and consistent response must be based on something. And then, one day, the clouds lift . . . . . . and from that time onwards you will always know what you have seen and what you have experienced - and nothing or no one can take that knowledge away from you . . . . and you gladly play your part in assuring others that the mountains really are there and that one day, by the grace of God, the clouds will lift for them, too!”    
- Rosemary Ryder

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