When I was first asked to be Lay Rector of Canterbury Cursillo #57 my initial natural response was amazement at the honour of what was being asked of me. My Cursillo journey began when I made my Cursillo on Canterbury #50 in 2013. From there I staffed a number of times which is where I gathered the invaluable experience that would hopefully enable me to fulfil the role that was being asked of me.


The surprise and positive feelings I experienced when I was asked by our Lay Director, Barbara, were followed swiftly by insecurities as to whether I was worthy, and was I up to the job of taking on such an important role? Could I follow on and fill the shoes of a long and prestigious line of Lay Rectors, and deliver the most important end result of the Cursillo weekend experience for a new group of Pilgrims?


After a while my mixed emotions subsided and after much prayer and focus, God through the Holy Spirit gave me a new found strength that stayed with me right from the start of all of the planning of the intricate details, progressing through to the Staff training days and then through to the end of the weekend itself. This strength was my spiritual foundation for the weekend and I thank God for blessing me with this wonderful gift and answering my prayers as He always does.


One of the main things I did know from my Staffing experience was that everything would not all be on my shoulders, Cursillo is a team event and I knew that if I had a good team behind me with a strong bond as a functional unit then my insecurities would be unfounded. I knew that with the right team and the blessing of a wonderful group of new Pilgrims then the Holy Spirit would shine through all of us and deliver another unique weekend to be remembered.


So that brings us to the team! I could not have wished for a better group of people to work with on this weekend.


Our Spiritual Advisors, Jacques Desrosiers and Simon Tillotson provided a wonderful blend of superb spiritual guidance and insight from their Rollos and Visitations, their own brands of humour and the essential spiritual support needed to help guide our new group of Pilgrims through the weekend.


The Decuria Staff teams I was blessed with represented a great mix of characters and experience which provided the all important foundation for each Decuria’s bonding as a group and the development and blossoming of the Pilgrims which we all witnessed over the weekend. Everyone’s Rollos were well thought out and excellently delivered providing the perfect content for the weekend’s progression.


The Cha Cha team were very well organised. Certain mentions must go to Sarah Love who handled the Palanca with great efficiency and Mike Cooke who brought his unique character to the musical proceedings for the weekend.


Finally my biggest thank you goes to my highly efficient “glamorous assistant” - my Lay Rector’s Cha Cha, Gill Neal (or “Akela” as she is known to me). I could not have got through the weekend without her. She was my rock from start to finish and all of the finer details and new special features of the weekend that we planned were executed with typical efficiency and professionalism!


We now come to the most important people of the weekend, the Pilgrims. God blessed us on Canterbury #57 with a “full house” and we had a wonderful mix of characters, ages, backgrounds and life experiences. The main thing I noticed straight away was how enthusiastic everyone was and how willing they were to get involved. This made the foundation for the weekend and the unique blend of characters that makes every Cursillo its own shone through in spectacular style on Canterbury #57.


For me, the evidence of success of a Cursillo is shown at the Clausura. When all of the Cursillista congregation can see the emotions, spirituality and clear bonds that have been created amongst the Pilgrims with the strength of the Holy Spirit shining through, then this shows that the weekend has done its job.


When I witnessed this myself at our Clausura with such great effect, any of those insecurities I had were washed away and I came away with a great sense of a job well done.


The success of Canterbury #57 would not have been possible without the Pilgrims, the Staff team and of course the venue itself. Special thanks must go to the Staff at Judds Folly who did a fantastic job. We had many new ideas for this Cursillo which required the support and understanding of the venue, and in particular the attention to detail for our celebratory dinner was superb, making this one of the highlights of the weekend…..


Thank you to all involved and for the blessing of God for me to fulfil this role – roll on Canterbury #58!