Society Of Our Lady Of Lourdes

Society Of Our Lady Of Lourdes


Botwell House, Botwell Lane, Hayes, Middlesex UB3 2AB





Why go to Lourdes as a Helper?

The main reason for visiting Lourdes is to make and take part in a pilgrimage – to grow our spiritual experience and deepen our relationship with God through Mary our Blessed Mother. It is also important to share our pilgrimage with others, particularly those less fortunate who may need our help and support. It is often said that friendships made in Lourdes are made for life.

What will I have to do as a Helper?

Helpers support our medical teams of doctors, nurses and carers in looking after our sick or disabled pilgrims throughout the duration of our pilgrimage. The work is very varied and can be demanding, both physically and mentally. During the pilgrimage you will be expected to:

  • Pray, listen and talk with our pilgrims but above all be a friend and companion
  • Help our pilgrims with washing, dressing and eating
  • Take our pilgrims shopping or out for a coffee
  • Assist with moving a sick or disabled pilgrim into or out of bed or a wheelchair
  • Accompany our Pilgrims to the Grotto, Daily Mass or other services including the Baths

Time spent at Lourdes is one of joy and laughter. Social activities and companionship are important and you are not expected to spend time in spiritual retreat but to take the opportunity to build on your faith through sharing, work and prayer.

lf you feel you are ready to offer your services to the Society of Our Lady of Lourdes you will be given guidance and support in your preparation from experienced helpers. Once in Lourdes you will be part of a team under the direction of a team leader who will be able to guide you through your pilgrimage. We welcome all helpers and a grant is available to assist with expenses, if you travel with us and help us on the journey.  

To apply, you may:

Download and save an application form and email this to us at

or simply phone us on 020 8848 9833

Clergy and Religious Groups

The Society pilgrimage has always been led by a distinguished and pre-eminent member of the Clergy. From 1990 till 2002 the Leader was the Rt. Rev. Christopher Budd, from Plymouth Diocese, supported by a large group of Priests and Nuns, who together tended to the spiritual needs of our pilgrims and helpers.

We welcome all Priests and all Religious who would like to accompany us.  Can you help us?

If so please email us


Doctors and Nurses

Why go to Lourdes as a doctor or nurse

The Society of Our Lady of Lourdes Pilgrimage allows time for you to be with people and to get alongside them – both Hospital Pilgrims and fellow helpers away from the constraints of the National Health Service and normal working life.

There are usually at least three doctors and twenty-five to thirty nurses although this varies from year to year. The Pilgrimage provides a unique opportunity for medics to work together and learn from one another, sharing their expertise and enthusiasm. The week in Lourdes is a learning opportunity for us all. We welcome medical students, and many have benefited from this informal teaching over the years.

The Accueil Notre Dame, where our Hospital Pilgrims stay does not have full, technical equipment (emergencies have to be referred to the local French General Hospital) but we do need an innovative and collaborative approach to enable us to cope with most challenges as they arise.

Working in Lourdes is a very different but always stimulating experience. The week we spend together means different things to different people. An unexpected aspect of Lourdes is the ready laughter always near the surface. Friends are made who remain friends after more than twenty years, possibly due to shared significant experiences, and there is an air of comfortable oneness with others from Lourdes, either when there together or later when at home. We become part of a Lourdes family.

If you’re interested get in touch with Dr. Solange Tranmer (Chief Doctor) or Billie Clinton (Chief Nurse) at  

Music Group

Our musicians lead the singing at all the services and provide entertainment for our guests on some evenings and social occasions. They are supported by up to 500 pilgrims - all of them in good voice!
We welcome all helpers who would like to accompany us.  Can you help?

If so please email us


Youth Groups (see Youth Groups page!)

Over the years, whenever  the pilgrimage dates coincide with UK schools half term  we have had a number of youth groups supporting our pilgrimage:  among them the Holy Family and St. Bede's Schools from Yorkshire and St. Michael's in Watford, London. 

With their boundless enthusiasm and energy these young people are ready for action from sunrise to sunset and always make a great and valued contribution to our pilgrimage.
We welcome all Youth Groups who would like to accompany us.  Can you help? If so, please e-mail us.


A Thank You to all our Helpers

Blessed Mother Teresa said:

'At the end of our lives, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made or how many great things we have done. We will be judged by "I was hungry and you gave me to eat. I was naked and you clothed me. I was homeless and you took me in." Hungry not for bread - but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing - but naked of human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of a room or bricks - but homeless because of rejection. This is Christ in distressing disguise.'
During Our Pilgrimage to Lourdes we often see many examples of our helpers feeding the hungry, clothing the naked and taking in the homeless in this way. We cannot thank them enough. Through their dedicated service they show us how to be "forgetful of oneself". They radiate the mission of of Our Blessed Mother and St. Bernadette.
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