Pope St John Paul II said that national Caritas agencies –
‘…have an important role in over a hundred countries, to animate and coordinate charitable action, in close liaison with the episcopal Conferences. […] According to the beautiful name you bear, which is the key-word of the Gospel, you are ordained to “charity”. Your whole enterprise is to live by charity, to bear witness to it, to put it into practice, concretely and with others.’ Address to Caritas Internationalis, 28 May 1979
Caritas Social Action Network animates and co-ordinates charitable activities undertaken by Catholic dioceses and specialist Catholic charities in England and Wales.
Our core contributions as a national Caritas agency include work to extend Catholic social thought and practice in the contexts of our charities and conditions of our society, and to communicate publicly in ways that advance the common good in England and Wales.
We work closely with official national agencies of other Christian traditions and maintain contact with Parliamentarians. We are keen – and always interested in hearing and learning from others – to increase the capacity of volunteers and services to enable people to be fulfilled in their communities, based on living witness to God’s boundless and irrevocable love. The national team supports efforts to develop and evaluate practice resources that draw on and inform parishes’ ‘social evangelisation’ (Evangelii Gaudium, Chapter 4).
We see scope to extend the benefits of the network in innovative ways, by enabling our member charities and parishes to work together more effectively on common causes, in safe and supported structures. As the Church’s agency for domestic social action, Caritas Social Action Network is uniquely positioned to facilitate this.
Strategic Objectives 2021-24
- To develop a set of alliances in the social mission of the Church which are mutually supportive and will build the capacity of the individual members to become more effective in their mission of social justice. For this objective our primary role is that of convener, animator and supporter of the social action network and its leadership.
- To develop our formation and training capacity for the benefit of the social action network and its beneficiaries. For this objective our primary role is that of provider of formation and training pathways to build capacity and inspire engagement in the social action network.
- To raise a coherent Catholic voice in the public arena for the benefit of those who are poor and marginalised. For this objective our primary role is that of prophetic voice and witness to caritas in the public arena.
- To develop a financial and organisational strategy to ensure that we are a sustainable and effective organisation that will deliver the mission and priorities outlined above. For this objective our primary role is to be a sustainable and mission-focused social action charity.