1955 pilgrimage to Lourdes
Dr Michael Strode (2nd from right, back row) on a 1955 pre-HCPT pilgrimage to Lourdes

Lourdes has been a place for pilgrimage since 1858. Today over five million people per year visit the town. HCPT founder Dr Michael Strode first visited in 1951 and saw the potential to organise a pilgrimage for disabled children at the school where he was working. HCPT itself was founded in 1956. It revolutionised the way that disabled people enjoyed a trip to the famous shrine.

Dr Michael was not content with letting the children stay in hospitals in the town as was the usual practice at the time. He insisted that they stayed in hotels as honoured guests along with the rest of the people they travelled with. This idea, which promotes a truly shared pilgrimage experience, continues today – both at Easter and for Summer pilgrimages at Hosanna House.

HCPT helps 1,000 disabled and disadvantaged children and young people visit every Easter, and hundreds of disabled and disadvantaged people of all ages to enjoy a week at Hosanna House near the town each Summer. The timeline below gives a brief history of HCPT.