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Back to Basics: the Cursillo Leaders' Workshop

Updated: Apr 3, 2022

Two smiling women stand outside a large red brick building on a sunny day
Olivia and Kathleen at Wistaston Hall

Over the weekend of 18-20 March, Rev Olivia Coles (spiritual director for Ely Cursillo) and Kathleen Jowitt (BACC rep) attended the Cursillo Leaders’ Workshop (CLW) at Wistaston Hall near Crewe. Beginning with supper on Friday evening and finishing on Sunday afternoon, with a programme of talks, discussions, and worship in between, the structure felt somewhat familiar… And indeed there was something of a ‘back to basics’ message running through the weekend: what do we really mean when we talk about Cursillo? Where does the experience begin? And why are we doing it in the first place?

We were encouraged to think of Cursillo as much more than one weekend – rather, it’s an ongoing commitment that begins with the sponsor’s relationship with the potential pilgrim, can include attendance at Group Reunions and Ultreyas from the very beginning, and that bears fruit in service in Cursillo and/or the wider Church. We looked at the three days of the weekend, too, a conversation which for us in Ely picked up on some of the conversations we’ve already been having.

The workshop was facilitated by CLW convenor Rev Dr Judy Craig Peck, assisted by a team of three, and all of them shared useful ideas from their various (lay and ordained) perspectives. But it was just as helpful to meet delegates from other dioceses and hear how Cursillo works for them, how they deal with their own particular challenges – and discover how some things we’d assumed were universal are nothing of the sort.

We’ve both come away with some ideas about how we can support our pilgrims better, involve more of our community, and make Cursillo a more fruitful, rewarding, prayerful experience for everyone.

You’ll hear more about that at our AGM on 30 April – we hope to see you there. In the mean time – Ultreya!

- Kathleen

Group of people seated and standing outside on a sunny day

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