Camino Fund First Awards

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The Camino Fund

The Camino Fund was established by family and friends in memory of Father Gerard Postlethwaite, a member of the Camino Chaplaincy who sadly died whilst leading a group walking retreat. After Fr Gerard died his relatives and friends provided a first donation to the Pilgrims’ Memorial Garden on the Camino Francés being established by Rebekah Scott. This was to fund a memorial stone for Fr Gerard and for any other pilgrims whose relatives may not have the financial resources to remember them in this way. Thus the idea of the Camino Fund was born.

More information: www.caminofund.com

Awards Budget

Currently the Camino Fund stands at just over 50,000€. Half of this amount was donated by Gerard’s family. The rest has been donated by a range of individuals and companies. Thank you to everyone. The more money we raise the more awards we can make.

The Aim of the Fund

A wise grant maker once said, “it is easy to fund activity, it much harder to make grants which will cause lasting change.”  The overarching aim of the Camino Fund is to provide relatively small grants combined with advice and “know how” to a modest range of projects which have the potential to have far reaching effects. Our first, but not exclusive, priority is to fund projects which encourage more young people to experience the Camino to Santiago.

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First Awards

Walking Retreats on the Camino

Fr Gerard had the idea of providing a spiritual retreat for a group of people whilst they walked a Camino together. We are delighted that his concept will be continued and developed under the leadership of Fr Tim Redmond. Fr Tim, a Kiltegan Father, is formerly a paediatrician and also serves as the Chaplain to Catholic People’s week. He is a very experienced pilgrim, having walked from Canterbury to Santiago as well as a number of other Camino routes. He is currently walking from Canterbury to Jerusalem in stages. He will be assisted by another very experienced Camino pilgrim, Mark McCarthy. The Camino Fund will provide financial support for participants who lack resources, particularly young people.

Fr Tim arriving in Rome having walked 2,100km on foot, through England, France, Switzerland, Italy and finally to St Peter’s Square in the Vatican City. There to meet him was Fr Raphael a fellow Kiltegan Father from Zambia, who was studying in Rome. You can read more about Fr Tim’s adventures here: walkingtim.com

Young Star Mentoring – http://youngstarmentoring.org.uk/

This organisation provides a Camino experience for young people who have been in care. A year or so ago they were considered for support but there was concern at their lack of policies with respect to Safeguarding and good governance. The organisation has improved in this regard and for the next year we will provide a  grant to support three or four young people to participate in the Young Star Programme.

A group of Young Stars arrive in Santiago

Global Pilgrim Photo and Story Competition for the Holy Year 2021

Holy years in Santiago were created by a Papal Bull in 1179. The ‘Holy Door’ of the Cathedral is only opened in these Holy Years and pilgrims can enter through this door. These Holy Years happen when St James’ Feast  Day (25 July) is on a Sunday. The last Holy Year was in 2010.

The Camino Fund has initiated this competition which will bring together all of the English language Pilgrim Associations to celebrate the Camino to Santiago for the Holy Year.

The Competition is a collaboration between American Pilgrims on the Camino, the Australian Friends of the Camino, The Canadian Company Of Pilgrims, the Camino Society Ireland and the Confraternities of Saint James in the UK, South Africa and Malta. More details will be announced in due course.

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Walking through the Holy Door

Pancho’s Place – is a new organisation committed to reaching out to individuals and families experiencing isolation, stress and mental health issues. The Camino Fund will provide the finances for a first group pilgrimage. https://www.panchosplace.com/

Young Leaders’ Camino

In October 2020 a group of 8 “Young Leaders” and three leaders will embark on their first pilgrimage supported by the Camino Fund. This is a Church of England initiative to find and provide development experiences for young people from urban estates to help them grow in confidence as leaders within their communities and wider society.

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Fr Tony O’Riordan SJ – Southern Sudan

 Like Fr Gerard, Tony O’Riordan served as a chaplain in Santiago. Previously he ministered in Ireland before being posted to Southern Sudan where he says he is almost “overwhelmed by the scale of human suffering and deprivation.” Much of Fr Tony’s work is with young people to establish basic education services. The Camino Fund received a donation of £1,000 with a request that we send it to help Fr Tony. We doubled it and did just that!    

Tony O’Riordan SJ the leader of the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) team in Maban, South Sudan

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