Conference 2021 was a great success. We welcomed representatives from 24 pilgrimages to Newcastle, as well as two pilgrimage directors, Dr Alessandro de Franciscis, and Matthew Kang from the Medical Bureau. As always, Sandro's input was very helpful and supportive, and the meeting as a whole was very well received by all those present. We welcomed two new Council Members: Scott Johnson and Liz Joy, and said a big thankyou to Joe O'Dwyer who has stepped down as Vice Chair although he stays on Council. Hamilton Grantham has replaced him as Vice Chair.
We enjoyed two days of discussion and fellowship, catching up with each other after the last two years. It was lovely to be able to be positive again. There were two particular highlights to mention:
One was the on-line training package, the development of which has been led by our Chair, Kim O'Connor. It is based on the Care Certificate for care workers, and is designed to complement a pilgrimages normal face to face training, allowing the pilgrimage to focus on the specifics of their individual pilgrimage, while knowing that the helpers already have a basic grasp of the concepts being developed.
The other highlight was our time in the lovely cathedral of St. Marys, where we enjoyed vespers on the Friday and Mass on Saturday evening. Many thanks to our resident Deacon and nurse, David Knight, and to Father Peter Martin, the celebrant.