Our mission

The love of neighbour is first and foremost a personal response to the love of God shown to us by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. It is our desire to give back what we have received – everlasting love, life and hope in the name of Jesus. We desire collectively to respond to this gift and it follows that love of neighbour is the hope for the entire ecclesial community at every level, from the local community to the particular church and to the Church universal in its entirety.

We believe that our diocesan structure provides an ideal foundation for the mission of the Church; the ethnic and linguistic diversity of our communities, our response to the command to be ‘fishers of men’, our belief in salvation through Jesus Christ, the wealth of Catholic Social Teaching and how each of these will affect our way of working ‘for such a time as this’. This requires order and organisation.

Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth exists to enable the support, teaching, promotion, ordering and organising of this constitutive element of Church within the parishes, schools, pastoral areas and deaneries of our diocese. Where relevant, Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth will work across the Framework For Collaboration with other teams and other vicariates.

Deus Caritas Est, God is Love (1 Jn 4:8), the beginning and end of charity, which is the ordered expression of love of neighbour within the communion and mission of the Church.

Caritas Diocese of Portsmouth –
The story so far

Caritas-The-story-so-far

A diocesan consultation was held in May 2015 to inform the way in which Caritas would operate. There was a clear message that in the main Caritas needed to operate at a parish level, with governance of individual projects remaining with the individual priests and the parish finance committees. However, there was a clearly articulated need for a variety of support with projects from a central ‘light touch’ organisation. The support requested was varied and included

  1. assisting parishes and Evangelisation Strategy Teams with project development
  2. volunteering and governance assistance,
  3. fundraising,
  4. networking with other churches and
  5. help with promoting Catholic Social Teaching.

There was also a desire that Caritas would undertake at least one diocesan project.
During 2015-2016 Caritas will be building its capacity as an organisation by working with selected parishes to develop initial projects. We will also be developing its brand, fundraising capacity and governance structures. Most importantly we will work with the diocese and parishes to determine a relevant agenda which will demonstrate the potential of Catholic Social teaching to contribute to the understanding and practice of evangelisation/social justice in our diocese.

On March 1st 2017 Kevin Gallagher was appointed as the new director of Caritas.

Parishes: We are able to provide advice to help parishes set up and run a social action project in their church. This could include:

•    Designing a project which is consonant with Catholic Social teaching
•    Advice on ‘how to do your project’
•    Planning and development for your project
•    Funding applications
•    Monitoring and evaluation
•    All volunteer issues
•    Partnership working

Evangelisation Strategy Teams: Some  teams will wish to explore development of a social justice project as part of their evangelistic efforts. Caritas will be pleased to advise on practical aspects of the project, including funding and governance at a pastoral area/parish level.

Framework for Collaboration: your Framework for Collaboration team may wish to work with Caritas to develop a project at diocesan or local level. Our development team will be pleased to advise you.

Charities and Outreach Team: The diocese is fortunate to have the support of many major Catholic charities. Through this team Caritas will facilitate conversation with these charities in order to promote and work with a common agenda.

Justice, Peace and Social Responsibility Team: Caritas may work with Justice and Peace initiatives to turn them into practical, parish based social action projects.

Social Research Unit: Caritas can work with the Social Research Unit to assist parishes and pastoral areas to research the potential social action needs of their local area.