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Collecting Compostela for Someone Else

jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Hi, if this has been covered before, please point me to the right thread.

If I arrive in Santiago with others, and we all go to the pilgrim office to get our tickets for the compostela, and the others then have to fly home immediately (for one reason or another), can I collect their compostela for them?
 
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Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Various ones.
It wasn't possible for me in Jan 2016, I arrived into Santiago with my partner on the 1st January, the pilgrim office was closed and my partner had to go back early to Madrid the next day. When I went on the 2nd Jan they would not give a Compostela for her credencial which I had taken along, they said she to come in person.
 

jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
With the new ticketing system I had heard that once you have your ticket, you can then apply online for the compostela, and then go and pick it up. I wondered if someone else (i.e. me) can pick up that compostela that has been applied for by someone else online.
 
Past OR future Camino
2012
Hi, if this has been covered before, please point me to the right thread.

If I arrive in Santiago with others, and we all go to the pilgrim office to get our tickets for the compostela, and the others then have to fly home immediately (for one reason or another), can I collect their compostela for them?
If you’re walking as a “group” then the “Group Leader” can collect Compostela for all. There’s a dedicated section of the PO. Saves all that queuing 😉
 
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jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
If you’re walking as a “group” then the “Group Leader” can collect Compostela for all. There’s a dedicated section of the PO. Saves all that queuing 😉

Hi, thanks, yes I know!

For a first timer I strongly believe that he/she should join the queue, just like everybody else, and personally walk up to the counter to apply for his/her compostela. It is part of the whole camino thing! And once done, he/she remembers that moment.

When I arrived at Santiago with a group the first time, one of the group members, in the jostling crowd in the entrance hall, was collecting anyone’s credencial who would give it to her, and then took those credencials to that front office. By the time I realized what she was doing it was too late to object.

However, she hadn’t bothered to collect one particular credencial, from one member of the group who was injured, who had walked every step of the way and had literally limped into Santiago. So everyone else got their compostela neatly handed to them, except the one person who would really have appreciated getting one.

I was furious. It is not easy leading a group, and that was one particular instance that I regret happened.

So next time I made absolutely sure that everyone in the group queued for their compostela, just like everyone else who had walked the camino. I know it’s easier for groups, and reduces the wait time for others who are not in a group, but I don’t see why groups should get the preferential treatment.

Anyway, my question now is, with the new ticketing system, can I pick up someone else’s compostela for them, once they have their ticket?

Everyone else can get their own!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
The simple answer is “no.” Every pilgrim must present themselves with their credencial to be considered for a Compostela. I am not aware of any exceptions to this rule.

Groups are handled differently. All persons in the group MUST have started at the same town, on the same day, and walked the same route.

When I have worked at the Office, we regularly had to turn away requests for Compestelas for persons who were not present. The reason for not being present was travel commitments, illness or injury, and even being deceased.

We regularly received one spouse or family member presenting two, completed credencials and requesting two Compostelas - for the present pilgrim and their deceased family member or friend. These folks are advised of the requirement to be present, and in the case of a deceased person, the pilgrim standing there is advised of the ability to dedicate your Compostela to the memory of a deceased person. We add “In Vicare Pro name, last name” to the bottom of the Compostela. This means “in place of” in Latin.

Basically, a pilgrim’s failure to plan - to allow enough time for the process - does not constitute reason for rule changes.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Further to my last - I am unaware that the new QR number process or the digital credencial changed any of what I wrote about above.

I am planning to work at the Pilgrim Office in September. I usually work in July - August, but I am recuperating from a very serious illness earlier this year. Things are MUCH better now.

Once I am at the office again I will know more about the new process.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 

dick bird

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
I'd always assumed that the essential purpose of a compostela was to show that the person whose name is on it had travelled to and was present in Santiago, not their credencial. If the office doesn't see the person, they have no reason to put their name on a compostela. The ticketing system seems to work, by the way. It avoids the queue and if the ticket is issued, you'll get your compostela that day.
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Or, viewed from the official perspective, YOU have not formally completed your pilgrimage until YOU present YOURSELF to the appropriate Church or Cathedral official responsible for adjudicating YOUR request for a Compostela. They cannot question someone who is not there.

It has been this way since the very beginning, when scallop shells were awarded as a badge of completion.

Then, once people abused the scallop shell as the award, to prove you completed the pilgrimage and were entitled to wear the shell as proof of this accomplishment, the Cathedral authorities started issuing written Compostelas.

As it was in the beginning is now, and - etc.

N.B. The Church writ large does not do change well, or often. I find just accepting what is, is the least stressful path.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
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gvmelissa

New Member
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP - SdC 2014
Porto - SdC 2016
Norte - 2018
Ing/Fin/Sdc 2019
Looks like you have plenty of official answers to your question. Thought I'd add a different suggestion. If you walk just a bit longer each day you can shorten the number of days to reach Santiago. An average of 32 days to walk from SJPdP, could be shortened to 30 days by adding just one more mile (average) to each day. Or maybe start in Pamplona where many Spaniards begin. And, oddly, there is a feeling of completion/satisfaction waiting in line with other Pilgrims to complete your trek - It would be nice for your friend to experience this as well.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Yes, I would like to know more about that too. Perhaps a volunteer who has recently worked at the Pilgrim Office can shed some light on BOTH the queueing and QR ticket system, AND the new electronic credential system?

I understand the electronic credencial app, registering, and capturing QR codes as you progress on your Camino. But, what happens, process-wise as, you arrive at the Pilgrim Office? Are there two queues or one, merged queue? Do people with electronic credentials proceed to a different place or internal queue? Or is everyone merged, and dealt with at the counter?

I last volunteered in summer 2019, pre COVID. They were just rolling out the early version of the QR-based queue system then. I am traveling over to volunteer in September. It would be nice to know what I am walking in to - and what has changed in my two years of COVID enforced absence.

Thanks in advance to anyone who can shed some authoritative light on these subjects.

Ultreia!

Tom
 

jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
If you walk just a bit longer each day you can shorten the number of days to reach Santiago.

We will be walking from Burgos to Santiago over 21 days – that averages at 23.5kms per day, which is quite high already for a group to maintain over 3 weeks.

Two days to get to Burgos (from here), and 2 days to get home again. It can be done (depending on flight times) from Friday evening to Monday midday.

I am expecting at least one person in the group to need to get back to work Monday morning, which means they will have to fly out of Santiago on the afternoon they arrive. Yeah, I know, but I've got a mixed group here, not dedicated pilgrims . . .

I am expecting huge crowds post-covid, with several hours between getting a ticket and collecting a compostela, so I would just like to know what the answer is if one of them asks me if I can collect their compostela for them.

I am hoping that Tom will be able to confirm the official answer for me later this year, as everything seems to be changing now that it is all done online.

I would hate to tell that person, that, no, I can’t collect it, but meanwhile someone else in the group (like alpha female above) goes and does it for them because I "won't".
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Right now, the answer is “no" as I discussed above. However, I will pursue the issue and ask again. I will report back here.

My volunteer assignment starts on 7 September. I hope this dovetails with your Camino dates.

Absent a change in the rules, your sole option is to form a group. The larger the better.

Everyone in the group should use paper credencials. Pay attention to what I said above about the group starting on the same date, at the same place and on the same route. This way, all the credentials will match, if viewed next to each other.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 
Last edited:
Past OR future Camino
2017
@t2andreo

Tom -

Your unvarnished delivery of the facts/rules as you know them...and allowance for the fact that perhaps you do not know them all despite extensive experience is wonderfully refreshing in this day and age.

The coupling of knowledgeable authority with humility is really quite remarkable.

I appreciate you, and I am probably part of a very big club.

Warmest regards,

B
 

FourSeasons

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
Things have changed again? Funny story. When I arrived in Santiago on August 15, 2019 the square was bustling with pilgrims. I was unaware of the new ticketing system so I did the usual laying in front of the Cathedral taking photos, embracing fellow pilgrims. Counting my blessings and relishing in my accomplishments. 😎 I decided to check into the Last Stamp Alburgue where I took a little nap before heading to the pilgrims office. Nice, no que at the pilgrims office, I had made the right decision to wait. SURPRISE! Things have changed. I was surprised and a little confused at the new system, I had no idea. LOL. I was fortunate to just barely get a ticket before they stopped dispensing them for the day. I think they stopped at ticket number 1400 that day. I still had several hours to wait before I could saunter up to the counter. ☺️ So back towards the Cathedral where I enjoyed a plate of fries and a refreshing drink until my number came up. 6F931BAC-2468-4EB8-9375-F0F83118785C.jpeg
 
Last edited:

dick bird

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Can someone tell me about the new system of ticketing? How does it work?
Its a bit like the deli counter at your local supermarket, or a government office. You rock up, take a ticket with a number on it and there is a big electronic display with the number now being dealt with. When your number comes up, you go to the counter. It's not 100% perfect but you at least have some idea of when you can collect your compostela, and saunter off for a coffee if it looks like a long wait. It also means that once you have a ticket, you are assured of getting a compostela that day.

I don't have any problem with the rule that you must collect your compostela in person. There may be some exceptions, but it's not a right. It is similar to the albergue rule that you have to be there to get a bed. Either you are there or not there.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
@t2andreo

Tom -

Your unvarnished delivery of the facts/rules as you know them...and allowance for the fact that perhaps you do not know them all despite extensive experience is wonderfully refreshing in this day and age.

The coupling of knowledgeable authority with humility is really quite remarkable.

I appreciate you, and I am probably part of a very big club.

Warmest regards,

B
Thank you for your very kind words.

Several personal experiences over the past 18 months have educated me about being more helpful and kind. I think many people have had similar epiphanies. Perhaps I just recognized the lessons being presented to me.

Thank you again.

Tom
 
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jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
However, I will pursue the issue and ask again. I will report back here.

Hi Tom, just touching base re: our pm, which I quote:

"I want to be one hundred percent sure of the rules before I tell anyone the wrong thing. I do not want to apply for compostelas for the whole group . . . It is just in case one person asks me to get it for them, AFTER they have got their ticket, and AFTER they have made the online application. I got this from the local Confraternity of St James’s Newsletter: ' . . . Online Registration for Compostela - The Pilgrim's Office have an online process available in order to process the compostela applications more efficiently and minimising time and personal contact. Once you have your ticket number, you can apply online at this address: https://catedral.df-server.info/agencias/Individuo.aspx?lang=5 the pilgrims office will have the documentation ready for you' . . .

. . . SO, as all the documentation has been done, I wondered if someone else (me) can collect it. Thanks again, Jill."
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Further to my previous posts about one person collecting another’s Compostela, I just finished a short volunteer stint at the Pilgrim Office. The answer remains not only no but hell no!

The premise is that failure to plan enough time on the tail end of a Camino, does not create justification for a rule change. Once that genie is out of the bottle, every pilgrim will develop a compelling story. So, management is adhering to a tough line on this.

This said, there IS a new process for a group leader to enter information for the entire group online, in advance of arriving at Santiago. Once the group’s data is submitted, the group leader will receive an SMS message on their smartphone telling them their information was received. Nearly immediately afterward, the group leader will receive an e-mail with a QR code.

The group leader - only - shows that QR code on their smartphone to gain entry to the group office - with the paper credencials for the group members. The credencials are reviewed, stamped, and returned with the entire group’s Compostelas, Distance Certificates, tubos, etc.

This is really the way to go if you have a group. No one waits in a line. Those that need to depart early can do so.

To start this process, the group leader needs to write an email to:

Grupos@catedraldesantiago.es

In the email, identify the group, dates, starting point, ending point (must be Santiago). The group coordinator will provide the leader with a unique user ID and password to access the group data input function directly on the cathedral server.

The leader can input the data for all the group at home, before leaving for Camino. This really is the easiest way to navigate the new and dynamic systems in place at the Pilgrim Office.

Hope this clarifies and helps.

Tom
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
@t2andreo

What is the minimum number now to count as a group?

BC SY
In my experience, the number has varied daily depending on the resources (staff) available to process all the requests. As a perennial volunteer at the Pilgrim Office I have witnessed the number start at 6 or 8, then go down to 4 in one day.

I have also seen the opposite, with the group size being redefined from say, 6 - to 10 or more persons. Again, it all depended on the workload and the staff available. In my opinion and observation being able to input group data ahead of time will streamline this sub-process and enable fewer staff people to do more work.

For purposes of the advance data submission, the fellow that runs the 'grupos' function behind the scenes at the Pilgrim Office told me a week or so ago that, now, coming into the off season, a group would be likely considered 5 or more pilgrims.

However, when next Holy Week and Easter kicks off the start of the 'season' in 2022,' the staff person's suggestion was that it would be good to have 10 more more pilgrims in your group.

Bottom line, the formal number is still dynamic. But, when you write the e-mail requesting admission to the group advance data entry function, you will be told the current definition of how many pilgrims constitute a group. The two of you can debate that number online.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 

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