Camino Fund in memory of Fr Gerard Postlethwaite
For those in the UK and Ireland – for now!
The Camino Chaplaincy is pleased to announce the launch of the Camino Fund which aims to encourage more young people to make the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela by supporting leaders who are organising groups to undertake the Camino.
The Camino Fund is dedicated to the memory of Fr Gerard Postlethwaite and is being provided through donations from his family and friends.
Fr Gerard Postlethwaite
Fr Gerard was a priest of the Diocese of Clifton and he served two terms with the Camino Chaplaincy. Gerard was an exceptional person. He joined the Benedictines, studying at Saint Benet’s Hall Oxford, and was at Ampleforth in Basil Hume’s time there. As a Benedictine he took the name Basil. He went to the Edinburgh Archdiocese to do parish work and was seconded to El Salvador to work in a parish for over ten years. On his return to the UK he served as school chaplain at Saint Mary’s School, Shaftesbury, and then at Saint Edward’s School, Cheltenham. In both places he also assisted at local parishes. In 2013 he went as parish priest of Chard, Crewkerne and Ilminster. In that year he completed his first walking pilgrimage from Le Puy in France to Santiago de Compostela. He was very taken with the Camino and subsequently led a parish Pilgrimage from Sarria, and served as a peripatetic chaplain on the Camino Francés. He also completed the Camino Portugués twice. Fr Gerard saw the Camino experience as a powerful opportunity for spiritual renewal. He decided to develop a new model of religious retreat – a retreat whilst walking the Camino to Santiago. We organised the first for him with 15 participants. He embarked on the first of these with his group of pilgrims from Barcelos in Portugal on the 12th of September 2017. Sadly, only four days later, having arrived in Valença do Minho, he died suddenly. The group dedicated their pilgrimage to his memory and continued to walk to Santiago.
The aim of the Camino Fund is to provide small grants of up to £1,000 to support leaders who are organising groups to undertake the Camino to Santiago. The fund will also consider supporting individual young people who may not have the resources to join such a group.
Application should be made on the form available from the Secretary, John Rafferty, firstname.lastname@example.org, Applicants will be informed when a decision will be taken on their application and they will be informed of the outcome.
Applications will be assessed by a panel comprising Dr Bob Postlethwaite, Kay Caldwell and John Rafferty, each of whom have walked the Camino to Santiago. The panel will make recommendations on the applications to Bishop Ralph Heskett, who will make the final decision.
Who is eligible to apply?
Leaders – including Youth Leaders, teachers and those engaged in ministry whoare members of a recognised organisation or parish in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and who plan to take a group of young people on the Camino to Santiago. Applicants must have relevant training, be approved by the organisation’s Safeguarding Procedure and provide details of a referee – who will normally be an official representative of the organisation.
Young people – Group leaders may make an application for support for a young person who wishes to participate in a Camino but does not have the necessary financial resources.
Examples of what the grant can be used for
Each applicant needs to explain how they will use the grant to assist them. For example, the grant could be used to:
- Help towards the cost of practice walks as the group prepares for the Camino
- Pay for Insurance for the group
- Subsidise the cost of aspects of the travel involved to and from, or within Spain
- Reduce the cost of accommodation or food on the Camino or in Santiago
- Assist those young people who couldn’t normally afford to go with the group
- Contribute towards the leader’s costs (to a maximum of £200)
Payment of Grant
The grant will normally be paid to successful applicants in one payment at a time the fund will agree with them. Grants will only be paid into the Bank Account of the organisation to which the applicant belongs. Grants will only be paid to individuals in exceptional circumstances.
All grant recipients should provide a report on their Camino experience including photographs to be posted on the Camino Fund website to inspire others.