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Ms Frances Mainwaring, Pilgrimage Director

The annual Welsh National Pilgrimage to Lourdes travels together as pilgrims from across the Archdiocese of Cardiff and Diocese of Menevia. We are one pilgrimage community. We come together, united in prayer, to serve one another, to wash in the waters of the spring and to pray to Our Lady and St. Bernadette at the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes.
It is a privilege to be Director of the Welsh National Pilgrimage,  maintaining the tradition established by past pilgrims and building a lasting love of and devotion to Our Blessed Lady, based on the compassion and love shown by so many of its stalwarts, friends and members both now and over the years.

If you are interested in joining our next pilgrimage to Lourdes, either as a pilgrim or as one of our volunteer team or, would like to be kept up-to-date with information and events, then please explore our website and subscribe to our newsletter.

Everyone is welcome!



All volunteers who travel with us on pilgrimage give of their time, skillsets, and services willingly and are not employed by the pilgrimage. We rely heavily upon and recognise the generosity of all our volunteers. Without this devotion, support and dedication to the service of others, we would be unable to travel as the Welsh National Pilgrimage to Lourdes.

Applications are always welcomed from those who wish to join one of our volunteer teams. Guidance and preparation are provided for all who volunteer, in relation to practical matters as well as opportunities for spiritual reflection and enrichment. The full participation of all volunteers in the Pilgrimage programme is strongly encouraged. Time is set aside
throughout the week and at the end of each day for prayer, reflection and sharing with others across our pilgrimage community.

We welcome anyone interested in joining one of our volunteer teams to make contact via our pilgrimage email address and your details will be forwarded to the appropriate volunteer team lead.

The medical team is comprised of Doctors and Nurses, who oversee the provision of medical care for the assisted pilgrims while on pilgrimage.
We are always keen to recruit established doctors, nurses and medical students for the pilgrimage.
The main roles are as follows:

  • pilgrimage doctors: to support the nursing team in providing care to our assisted pilgrims.

  • pilgrimage nurses: responsible for the day-to-day care and medication of our assisted pilgrims.

A rota is prepared to ensure medical cover is always available for the entire duration of the pilgrimage.  We travel with a limited supply of equipment and medication to deal with medical emergencies. Regular communication with the medical team lead and across volunteer teams enables the smooth running and working of the pilgrimage throughout the week.

The helper team is comprised of both adult and youth volunteers, who support the medical team in the care and support of the assisted pilgrims while on pilgrimage.
We are always keen to recruit both adult and youth helpers, care workers and support staff for the pilgrimage.

PLEASE NOTE: For legal reasons, youth helpers MUST be 16 years old on the day of travel to Lourdes.
The main roles are as follows:

  • adult helpers: to support the nursing team in providing care to our assisted pilgrims.

  • youth helpers: to support the nursing and adult helper team in providing care to our assisted pilgrims.

Helpers work in small teams on a rota basis. Guidance and supervision are provided and an experienced volunteer lead is always available for additional guidance should it be required.

Roles and responsibilities include:

  • supporting the assisted pilgrims with daily tasks (as required)

  • providing wheelchair transportation to liturgies, services and events

  • supporting with the general cleaning of the allocated pilgrimage spaces

  • socialising in groups with the assisted pilgrims – chatting, preparing tea and coffee, shopping trips and ice cream stops etc.

The work of both our adult and youth helpers is essential to our pilgrimage. We are always eager to build on the knowledge skillset and wealth of experience of this team.

Pilgrims requiring assistance on the pilgrimage should strongly consider registering as assisted pilgrims. Assisted Pilgrims are supported throughout the week by the medical and helper teams. Once more information is available regarding next year’s pilgrimage, this will be shared here and across the Diocese.



We travel by air to Lourdes.
The cost of the pilgrimage includes:

  • 3* or 4* hotel accommodation (depending on individual choice)

  • Full board

  • Return flights

  • Coach transfers

  • A full religious programme

  • Allocation of tour company representatives throughout the pilgrimage week

  • Lourdes Sanctuary Donation

A full religious programme is organised with additional time built in for reflection, discussion and time to explore the beautiful Sanctuary and the town of Lourdes itself.

Our programme always includes Mass in the Grotto, a visit to the Baths, involvement in the Blessed Sacrament and Torchlight Processions, as well as Mass with Anointing, Penitential service, Stations of the Cross and a social celebration, involving light entertainment, which often proves to be one of the highlights of the week.

While in Lourdes, each pilgrim is charged a Lourdes Sanctuary donation, which contributes to the upkeep and maintenance of the Sanctuary. This will be added to and included in your overall pilgrimage cost.

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