Where did Cursillo come from?


The first Cursillos were developed in Mallorca, Spain, under the leadership of Eduardo Bonin. They wished to bring Christ to the real life situations in which they found themselves. They began by meeting weekly in small groups, praying and planning how they might do this. They found strength and mutual encouragement from each other as they carried out their plans and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit they experienced new excitement and depth of commitment among themselves.


As more people were drawn in, it was felt the need for training in Christian witness and they held weekend retreats focusing on what is fundamental for being a Christian. They were also designed to form leaders who who could provide a backbone for the Christian faith - leaders who were ‘not ashamed of the Gospel’.


It was also recognised that they could not survive in isolation and so the groups were themselves linked, meeting to celebrate and encourage their witness through regular gatherings called ‘Ultreyascoming from the call to pilgrims to persevere giving them hope.


The weekends became known as ‘Cursillos in Christiandadmeaning ‘a running course in how to live as Christian witnesses’.


Where now?


In time the weekends reached the US and from there to Wales, England and then Scotland. They are now worldwide. Cursillo is ‘gifted’ to other diocese and countries from diocese where it is already present. In Britain this gifting takes place only with the permission of the Bishop and BACC (British Anglican Cursillo Council) and takes around three years while the gifting diocese works with the receiving diocese. Cursillo was gifted to Cumbria by Blackburn and Scotland. Scotland also gifted Cursillo to India.


Cursillo is based around the ‘Group Reunion’. These small groups meet regularly to share their Christian life: as they get to know each other this becomes a very deep sharing and they find the strength and mutual encouragement as did those first groups and indeed the original disciples. If you are interested in joining such a group please contact an area representative or the Lay Director or Spiritual Director/Advisor.

These groups meet together at ‘Ultreyas’ to celebrate, share in small groups with different people at a less deep level and to hear witness to how Jesus is working through them. If you would like come to an Ultreya, please contact an area representative or the Lay Director or Spiritual Director/Advisor. 

Three day weekends are run which focus on what is fundamental to being a Christian. They are a living example of Christian Community in action showing and sharing God’s love. If interested see ‘how can I apply to attend’.

Prayer underpins everything that happens in Cursillo.