Diocese News

CAFOD information afternoon - Wed 18th Sept 2.30pm-4pm, Oakwood, North London. CAFOD is hosting a supporter’s information afternoon with a guest speaker, Laura Ouseley, who has first- hand experience of our overseas work. Come and hear how CAFOD is helping communities, thanks to your support. 2.30 – 4pm at CAFOD’s Volunteer Centre, 1st Floor, Church of Christ the King, 29 Bramley Road, Oakwood, London, N14 4HE. To book tel: 0208 449 6970/email westminster@cafod.org.uk 

CARITAS VOLUNTEERING SERVICE - Caritas has a service to support and develop volunteering in the diocese. The aim is to make volunteering as easy as possible for everyone. Please visit the website www.caritaswestminster.org.uk/volunteer where you can find a role for you. Alternatively contact us directly by emailing caritasvol@rcdow.org.uk or by telephone 0207 798 9063 or 077 3818 3833.


Human trafficking has been described by Pope Francis as 'an open wound on the body of humanity'. Since we are all part of that humanity, human trafficking defaces us all.

He goes on to say that it is 'a wound in the Body of Christ' in which we share. Our faith teaches us to see the face of Jesus in those who are most vulnerable and needy.

These are the reasons why today, on this Day for Life, we focus on the eradication of human trafficking. What exactly is human trafficking? Here is a description:

Human trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, harbouring or receipt of individuals for the purpose of exploitation, through the use of violence, force, fraud, coercion, or deception, or through the abuse of power, position or trust. People may be trafficked for any number of exploitative activities, such as domestic servitude, prostitution, forced begging or criminality, forced marriage, and forced organ removal.

This criminal activity is widespread and well organised in the world today. Estimates are that there are over 40 million victims, trafficked out of every country and trafficked into every country. This includes our own. English victims of trafficking include many youngsters caught up in gang crime in our cities. Victims of trafficking held in this country come from over 80 different homelands and are caught up in an invisible crime in our midst, on our streets, in businesses and shops.

As a Church we have a great part to play. Our contacts are widespread, not least among the ethnic communities with their chaplains. We can all learn to recognise the signs of a victim; we can be important 'eyes and ears'. 

One of our responses to this tragedy, here in the Diocese, is Bakhita House, a house of welcome and healing for these victims. It is named after St Josephine Bakhita, herself a victim of slavery and human trafficking. It is supported by Caritas Westminster, by many religious congregations and by many generous donors. In the past three years it has welcomed and assisted over 80 guests, all women rescued from modern slavery. There are also five babies in this great extended family!

These are some of the words written by one guest:

'When we didn’t have any hope and reason to live we came to this house and began to live again. Here we got our new family - we weren’t born in the same families but my friends, who are living in this house, have the same pain in our hearts and souls but with your help every member of Bakhita House are doing the best to relieve our pains and help us start again.

The only thing we can do for you is to pray for you in our own languages and in our own religions, to ask God for your strength, health and patience to have a long life. God bless you for all the kind works you have done!'

Brothers and sisters in Christ, please do learn more about modern slavery. Please do support this work in whatever way you can. Please do pray for its victims, held without any apparent hope, exploited every moment of the day, clinging on to life. Please do pray for all those who work hard to bring this evil to an end.

With prayers and blessings for you and your own families,

Cardinal Vincent Nichols
Archbishop of Westminster

SVP VINNIE PACKS - If you could sponsor a £3 pack, please give cash or cheques payable to SVP to Audrey or Gillian. Thank you for donations received. Also let us know if you often see a homeless person who may be in need of a pack.

JOB VACANCIES - Please take time to view the Diocesan website for vacancies in offices and parishes: http://rcdow.org.uk/diocese/jobs/

CATHOLIC SINGLES  - helps single Catholics of all ages (over 18) to meet other single Catholics, either one to one or through social events. For further info visit www.catholicsingles.org.uk or phone James at 0161 941 3498

IF YOU ARE ADMITTED TO HOSPITAL in light of data protection please indicate on entering hospital that your details are to be passed to the RC Chaplain. Also state that you would like the RC Chaplain to visit you.