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Caritas network

Caritas Archdiocese of Birmingham is a network of charities, parishes and services that provide charitable work in the name of the Church throughout the Archdiocese.

Part of the national Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN), the Birmingham network guides and supports all of the work carried out locally in the name of the Church. It aims to encourage this work by sharing good practise, networking, offering spiritual support and sharing ideas.

History

As a member of CSAN, Father Hudson’s was always very aware of the work carried out by similar charities around the country, including the development of Caritas networks in other dioceses.

In its belief that the Church carried out a great deal of social care work within the Archdiocese of Birmingham, but that no single coherent image existed of what this work encompassed, Father Hudson’s approached Archbishop Bernard Longley about the possibility of researching exactly what work was taking place in the Church’s name.

This led to an exercise to contact all parishes to establish and map out all services that existed that had grown from the Church’s concern for those in need in the local community. On completion of the work in the summer of 2014, the Archbishop decided to launch the Caritas Archdiocese of Birmingham network.

The Archbishop was very keen that a consultation take place to find out what kind of new Caritas organisation would work best. To facilitate this, Father Hudson’s arranged several roadshows as well as a consultation at St Chad’s Cathedral. This led to the creation of a Constitution that was formally agreed by the Archbishop and his Council and to the new network which was launched at St Chad’s in autumn 2014.

The Archbishop asked Father Hudson’s to provide secretariat services for the new network and also to be involved in the Executive Committee that would plan events throughout the year. Fr Michael White was appointed Chair of the committee and Father Hudson’s now works closely with him.

In its first year, the Executive Committee organised a retreat at Oscott College, two workshops on homelessness, and fundraising activities in Lichfield and Banbury. Another roadshow, centred on the work of five volunteer-led groups took place in autumn 2015, allowing Caritas members to learn from their experiences. Since then the network has, along with partners and members, held retreat days, training days, and networking events. And it continues to develop more opportunities for Caritas members to develop and grow.

Caritas projects

It has been involved in setting up Fatima House, supporting destitute female asylum seekers, and Tabor House, Birmingham’s only year-round shelter for homeless people. Caritas remains an active partner in these projects, which offer practical support to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. 

Working closely with Oscott College students and staff, Caritas published a prayer book to inspire and guide /media/whoweare/library/prayer-book-resized.jpgindividuals and groups as they work to support people in great need. At £2 a copy, the prayer book offers people involved in social action the chance for reflection and guidance as they go about their work. To request a copy, contact us at Caritas Prayer Book, c/o Father Hudson’s Care, St George’s House, Gerards Way, Coleshill B46 3FG, ring Bev Smith on 01675 434005 and leave a message or email admin@caritas-aob.org.uk.

For further information on Caritas Archdiocese of Birmingham, visit www.caritas-aob.org.uk

The website contains a list of the organisations and parishes that have become members, as well as all services that are known to exist. This information will be updated regularly, particularly through the process of deanery visitation. The Bishop’s Council will ensure that, when parishes are visited, not only will all the liturgical and catechetical work be mapped, but all social action work will be listed and shared with the Caritas Secretariat c/o Father Hudson’s Care.

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