Each year there are normally at least two opportunities to go on pilgrimage to Lourdes in the south of France as part of a Service community: with the HCPT (Hosanna House and Children’s Pilgrimage Trust) children’s pilgrimage at Easter; and with the IMP (International Military Pilgrimage) in May, either supporting a veterans HCPT group for a week long pilgrimage, or as part of the IMP Naval Contingent for a shorter 4-day pilgrimage.
Very occasionally additional pilgrimages may be organised to other sites such as Rome, Fatima, the Holy Land, or Walsingham.
HCPT – Hosanna House and Children’s Pilgrimage Trust
HCPT is a UK-based Catholic charity offering pilgrimage holidays to the shrine of Lourdes in South West France for disabled and disadvantaged people from around the UK and further afield.
Within the wider context of this national organisation, groups from each of the Armed Forces exist, which focus on children and veterans with special needs from our Armed Forces communities. Groups are made up of serving helpers, supported by some retired and dependant personnel, as well as specialist service health care professionals and normally a Service Chaplain. The pilgrimage week has a family atmosphere with a 1-to-1 participant / helper ratio and is based on a spine of faith activities with a great number of opportunities for fun.
The children’s pilgrimage takes place at Easter and within the Armed Forces region, the Royal Navy runs two groups:
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