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Wibsey Community Market's 3rd Anniversary


On 8th November a short Service of Thanksgiving was held to mark the third anniversary of Catholic Care’s Community Market at St. Winefride’s Church in Wibsey, Bradford.

Sue Parsons, Community Sponsorship Coordinator, gave a word of welcome saying that it felt wrong to ‘celebrate’ the need for a foodbank, just as helping a record number of households (68) in mid-September hadn’t been a cause for celebration. Sue said it was right, however, to celebrate the sense of community that the Market exemplifies, and the work that Catholic Care and the parish were doing together to support those in need.
The service was led by parish priest Monsignor Paul Grogan, and was attended by some forty Market customers and volunteers.
One of Catholic Care’s ‘Volunteers of the Year’, Lindsey Holmes, had baked birthday cakes beautifully iced in the charity’s colours.
Among those tucking in were Catholic Care trustees Canon Martin Kelly and Kevin Devers, who were visiting as part of the annual ‘Trustees on Tour’ visit to services led by the charity’s Director Carol Hill.

Autumn walk scaled

Carol's 160 kilometres


Our Catholic Care Director, Carol Hill, has committed to walk 160 kilometres during the autumn to raise money marking our charity's 160th anniversary.

You can sponsor her brilliant effort by visiting www.justgiving.com/campaign/carol160

160 Minutes of Mindfulness Poster

160 Minutes of Mindfulness


A number of primary schools in the Diocese are marking Catholic Care’s 160th anniversary by pledging ‘160 Minutes of Mindfulness’.

Mindfulness is now widely practised in British schools to help children cope with anxiety and develop emotional regulation. It can take different forms including guided reflection, breathing exercises, journaling, and listening.

To promote the ‘160 Minutes of Mindfulness’ initiative, Gabriela – a Year 6 pupil at St. Joseph’s Primary School in Hunslet – has produced a beautiful poster.

Our School, Children and Family Wellbeing Service will be using it to encourage children to get involved in our 160th anniversary celebrations.

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160th Anniversary Mass: please register your attendance


All supporters of Catholic Care, along with staff, volunteers, and service-users, are warmly invited to celebrate our charity’s 160th Anniversary at a special Thanksgiving Mass at 6.30pm on Friday 8th December at St. Winefride’s Church in Wibsey, Bradford (BD6 1ST).

The presider at the Eucharist will be Bishop Marcus Stock.
The Mass is a joint celebration with the local parish who are marking 50 years of their church.
The Mass, which will probably last about an hour, will be followed by a reception in the parish hall, but due to safety regulations numbers are limited.
So, to help us plan for the event, if you’re intending to come please register at:

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Record Numbers at Community Market


In mid-September Catholic Care's Community Market in Wibsey helped a record number of households. Whilst we don't want to celebrate the fact that so many people are in need, we believe the community ethos underpinning the Market is worth celebrating.

Catholic Care runs a number of Community Markets which our Director, Carol, calls ‘foodbanks with dignity’ because: they offer a range of healthy fresh produce in addition to preserved goods; customers don’t have to be referred or prove they’re in need; they can choose what items they want; and they can make a donation towards costs if they wish.

Sue Parsons, Community Sponsorship Coordinator, writes:

On Wednesday 13th September, the Community Market at St. Winefride’s in Wibsey helped a record number of households: 68!

56 people attended and we also made up 12 food parcels for people to take to their neighbours who couldn’t attend.

It was really busy, but also had a great atmosphere as our customers enjoyed a warm drink and a chat with each other, and could seek advice from Keelie our Family Support Worker and Ardil from the Department of Work and Pensions.

And, of course, there was Sandra and Maria’s pre-loved clothes stall to have a look at!

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Christmas Card Crafting at St. Urban's


Catholic Care’s Friendship Group at St. Urban’s Church in Headingley welcomed some Year 6 pupils from St. Urban’s Catholic Primary School on 15th November 2023.

Gill Tarpey, Community Development Worker, writes … Headteacher Miss McStay and Mrs Bolton provided the group with some wonderful crafts for making Christmas cards. We were spoilt for choice. The school children supported and helped our members in making beautiful cards. We all enjoyed a cup of tea and some home-baked goodies. We look forward to another visit in the New Year.

Hibaldstow Skydive tandem

Sky's the limit for Kate


A Catholic Care employee is doing a sponsored skydive to mark Catholic Care’s 160th Anniversary.

Kate Hughes helps lead teams at two of our charity’s supported living services for adults with learning disabilities in West Yorkshire.

Kate says, “I’m seeking to raise money for our charity’s Mental Health Services. Mental Health plays an important part in my life, and I’d like to give back in any way that I can. I will be doing a tandem skydive and will be falling from 15,000 feet.”

You can sponsor Kate’s brilliant effort by visiting



Hibaldstow Skydive tandem
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CSAN Statement on the Israel-Gaza Conflict


Catholic Care is the Caritas agency of the Diocese of Leeds, and a member of Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN) which is the social action agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales. CSAN has issued the following statement on the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Caritas Social Action Network supports the call by Pope Francis for an immediate ceasefire in the Israeli-Gaza conflict. In his comments after the Angelus on 29 October, Pope Francis said, “… in Gaza, may space be opened to guarantee humanitarian aid, and may the hostages be released right away. Let no one abandon the possibility that the weapons might be silenced – let there be a ceasefire”.

We deplore the atrocities carried out by Hamas on 7 October and we agree with our sister Caritas agency CAFOD that “responding to the atrocities committed by Hamas with what amounts to a collective punishment of civilians living in the occupied Palestinian territory is leading to unimaginable levels of death and suffering”.

We urge the Catholic community in England and Wales to pray for peace and reconciliation and to learn more about the background to this conflict, including the role played by Britian during the period of the Mandate (1920-1948). We urge Catholics to raise the voice of peace and justice in their communities with their elected representatives.

In particular, we urge all Catholics to take a stand against antisemitic and Islamophobic hate crimes in their own communities. We share the concern of Cardinal Vincent Nichols, who has appealed for “restraint and the total avoidance of hateful language and action, as the impact of this conflict is felt in communities here”.

Catholics in England and Wales can also respond in charity to the worsening situation by donating to the CAFOD appeal. Donations to the Crisis Appeal will support those affected and get funds to local trusted experts who have been working alongside communities helping those most in need to receive urgent humanitarian aid including food, water and emergency shelter.

Raymond Friel, CEO, Caritas Social Action Network
13 November 2023

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Friendship Group Commemorates Battle of Britain

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Some of the senior citizens who attend Catholic Care’s Friendship Groups across the Diocese of Leeds are old enough to remember the Battle of Britain which took place between July and October 1940.

The Royal Air Force and Royal Navy defended the United Kingdom against large-scale attacks by Nazi Germany’s air force, the Luftwaffe.

This major event of the Second World War was commemorated by the Friendship Group at St. Joseph’s Church in Harrogate on 12th September.

Gill Tarpey, Community Development Worker, writes …

The group at St. Joseph’s enjoy marking special occasions. Some members dressed in uniforms, and we decorated the hall to match the occasion. We enjoyed activities and a themed quiz on ‘all things Battle of Britain’. Some members recalled relatives who had served in the military or the Home Guard, and we listened to their stories. Home-baked cakes were shared, and a game of boccia (indoor bowls).


Pope meeting migrants in Greece

World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2023

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World Day of Migrants and Refugees is celebrated every year on the last Sunday of September. In 2023 the 109th World Day falls on Sunday 24th September.

It is an occasion to express support and concern for vulnerable people forced to flee their homes; to encourage Christians and others to remember and pray for those displaced by conflict and persecution; and to increase awareness about the opportunities and challenges that migration offers.

Each year the pope choses a theme for the Day. For this year Pope Francis has chosen Free to choose whether to migrate or to stay. You can download the Pope’s message here. Below you can find information about Catholic Care’s work with migrants and refugees, as well as resources from the wider Church.

Catholic Care’s support for refugees

Over the last few years Catholic Care has been working with local community groups and parishes to help welcome and support refugee families under the Community Sponsorship scheme. A number of Syrian families are supported under the scheme in communities across Yorkshire.

Under the scheme, a community group (which might be based in a parish but not necessarily) works together with the guidance of Catholic Care. Our Community Sponsorship Coordinator, Sue Parsons, pulls together a resettlement plan which includes finding accommodation for a family, raising funds, researching school places and health care, and the other needs a family may have when they come to a new country and perhaps don’t speak the language. Once the application is approved by the Home Office, a refugee family is chosen with the assistance of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

Catholic Care | World Day of Migrants and Refugees

Reflecting on 2023’s World Day of Migrants and Refugees, our Community Sponsorship Coordinator Sue said:

“At Catholic Care, our main input into caring for migrants and refugees is through the Community Sponsorship programme. And sad to say, people resettled under this scheme felt they had no choice but to leave their homeland.

Our first Community Sponsorship group welcomed a Syrian refugee family to the town of Settle four years ago in August. The scheme offers support for a family for up to two years, but because 6 months after their arrival the country went into Covid lockdown, the local group supported the family for longer, and are still in touch occasionally now the family has become independent. The family have moved from Settle to Bradford and are enjoying their new life in the UK. One great note of optimism is that the mum has started a course retraining as a nursery nurse.

The next family we supported settled in Normanton where both older boys are keen football players. In fact the younger of the two is regularly awarded Player of the Match in his local Under-8s team!

The dad of a family in Pateley Bridge has been working during the summer at one of the cafes there, improving his English and gaining work experience. He and his wife are interested in setting up their own business offering Syrian food – and by all accounts their cooking is delicious!

And finally, dad in the family settled in Ripon, is going to address an Institute of Migration event for their Cultural Orientation Trainers in Sheffield. He’ll be speaking to an audience of about 35 people about some of his experiences of being a refugee and being resettled under the Community Sponsorship scheme.”

Catholic Care has found that the Community Sponsorship scheme is a mutually enriching experience. Not only are refugees able to start a new life in safety, but members of the sponsoring community in Yorkshire find that their minds and hearts are opened to new horizons.

Further resources: International

Further resources: England & Wales



To find out more about Community Sponsorship, then please contact Sue Parsons – sue.parsons@catholic-care.org.uk or 07702 255113