Welcome to Caritas Portsmouth

Caritas Portsmouth supports parishes, schools and groups across the diocese to reach out to those on the margins to share the love and mercy of God in practical ways.

Guided by the words of Pope Francis in Laudato Si’, our work combines the themes of social and environmental justice as we hear and respond to ‘both the cry of the earth and cry of the poor.”

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glass jar laying on its side with coins spilling out
a preson clasping hands which are resting on top of an open book
two masked volunteers are packing food into paper bags for guests to take away with them

Refugee Week

The theme for refugee this year is ‘Our home’.  Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani student, who was shot for her education activism, said “To me, a home is where you feel loved, safe and cherished.”

On 13th June at 6pm we are joining Caritas Diocese of Plymouth for an online event to look at how we might be more welcoming to refugees and asylum seekers in our communities. You can register here. and find a refugee week poster here.

We are holding an online networking lunch on Tuesday 18th June from 12:30-1pm where we will hear from one of our parishes work with refugees, with time to discuss and ask questions. Please register for that here. Everyone is welcome. If you are already volunteering in a project that supports refugees and/or asylum seekers, please do come along and share your insight and experience. Download a networking lunch poster with event details.

hand holding some earth with a couple of newly germinated seeds. The text says Seeds of Hope, Laudato Si' week 2024

Laudato Si’ Week  ‘Seeds of Hope’

Laudato Si’ week runs from 19th -26th May. The theme, ‘Seeds of Hope’ encourages us to gather in community to contemplate and nurture seeds of hope for our “suffering planet” (Laudato Si’ #2).

Laudato Deum, published last October is a reminder of the urgency of the Laudato Si’ message, that we need both a personal and cultural transformation to address our ecological and climate crisis. And this transformation needs to happen now.

“There are no lasting changes without cultural changes … and there are no cultural changes without personal changes” (Laudate Deum, #70)

Take time each day to reflect, pray and act on the different themes suggested in the Laudato Si’ Week Celebration Guide, starting this Sunday, The Feast of Pentecost, with a guided mediation on ‘Encounter with Creation’.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to join us each day in prayer, reflection and action.

Modern Slavery

Last Tuesday, Caritas Plymouth held an awareness raising event for Modern Slavery. There are an estimated 122,000 victims of modern slavery in the UK and one in four are children. Modern slavery is where victims are exploited for someone else’s gain and can take many forms including trafficking of people, forced labour and servitude.

We all have a part to play in ending modern slavery and key is to be aware of the potential signs. Looking out for physical signs of abuse, whether someone has their own ID, is uncommunicative, works long hours, isn’t dressed in work or weather appropriate clothing or is unfamiliar with where they are. We have a poster to share on our website with more details to be put up in parishes. Each sign on its own may not necessarily mean someone is a victim of modern slavery, but a few together are a strong indicator something is not right.

Download a Modern Slavery Poster for your parish.

2 flyers on a table with title Caritas' Sunflowers and 4 brown paper envelopes with small round stickers with a picture of sunflower on them.

Caritas’ Sunflowers

We have lots of sunflower seeds to give away to parishes and schools across the diocese! Sunflowers are good for attracting bees and butterflies and their seeds can be used for feeding birds in the winter so great for increasing biodiversity and the bold bright flowers are just a joy to see.

If you would like a pack for your parish or school, whether for a confirmation group, youth/children’s club, class, the eco-group or gardening team, just get in touch at [email protected] and we’ll get them to you (Each pack has about 50 seeds and we have lots!). If you are limited on planting space the packs include dwarf varieties that can work in pots and we’re more than happy for the plants to go to home gardens,

You can find guides to planting, making eco-pots, photo boards and competitions here.

Becoming the Church Beyond Walls 

The Church Beyond Walls Workshop is a interactive session to help your parish start exploring the needs in your local community and deciding how to respond to them. Following the See-Choose-Act pathway it is an opportunity to focus on getting to know your neighbourhood and the specific opportunities it offers for engagement and outreach using the gifts and resources of people in your parish. 

Based on the goals of the 10 year mission plan You Will Be My Witnesses, the workshop includes

  •  The opportunity to answer the question ‘what does poverty look like in this parish/pastoral area?’ examining what poverty is, and what is it’s impact
  • A mapping exercise to identify examples of social outreach already present
  • Identifying the most pressing needs and ways to respond in line with Catholic Social Teaching

This workshop is suitable for small parish groups or wider pastoral areas so if you would like to find out more or book a session,  please contact us at [email protected]