On Saturday, 11 February in most glorious winter sunshine and at the beautiful setting of Douai Abbey near Reading, our new Jumbulance was on display for the official dedication and blessing to enable us to continue offering something special to those who are disabled or ill and cannot use most conventional forms of transport. Slightly shorter than J1 and able to accommodate 20 rather than 23 with 16 seats and 4 beds, basically similar in finish and facilities but with a different layout of the toilet and kitchen at the rear, this new Jumbulance continues to offer the high standard set by J1.
Douai Abbey is a magnificent building combining features that are both old and new and, as well as being the centre of a small community of Benedictine Monks, doubles as the Parish Church of one of our Trustees. The service of dedication was attended by about 100 friends and supporters and included a moving reading by Dick Kennedy of the parable of the Good Samaritan from St Luke’s Gospel followed by a most understanding address by Father Tredget relating the activities and aims of the Trust to the parable. This was followed by bidding prayers read by Chris Chisholm (Trustee) remembering those no longer with us and seeking humility in helping those who will use J2.
Later Michael Vaughan-Fowler (Trustee) described briefly the aims and objectives of the Jumbulance Trust and gave examples of those who over the years had benefitted from it. These addresses were interspersed with a selection of hymns including four verses of the Lourdes hymn in recognition of our frequent visits to Lourdes and the fact that 11 February was the date dedicated to “Our Lady of Lourdes”.
Following the service of dedication Father Tredget invited the whole gathering to accompany him outside to the Jumbulance where he conducted a formal blessing, after which Kathryn Salvesen (Chairman of the Trustees) handed the keys to Graham Thompson who will be primarily responsible for it.
All in all this was a memorable occasion to acknowledge not only the introduction of our second new Jumbulance but also to bid farewell to our old vehicles and to celebrate the achievements of the first 10 years of the Trust.