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Image of the Holy Spirit on the Stephen Foster triptych at Northampton Cathedral

Groups and societies actively represented in the Diocese Minimize

Below we give highly abbreviated summaries about the many groups, societies and organisations who have an active presence in the Diocese of Northampton. Fuller information is in the printed Diocesan Directory which is available in all our churches and schools ; or you can ask the Webmaster.

To protect the privacy of many volunteers, we are not giving full addresses, private phone numbers or private e-mails unless specifically requested to do so. All we have done is give the town where a contact lives, so you can see if there is someone near you. Full contact details for any group will be provided on request to any legitimate enquirer.

ACTA -  "A Call To Action". A national body/movement with a local group in the Diocese. "We are a group of Catholics, some of whom are ordained, brought together by our love of Christ's church and our anxiety about its future. Still inspired by the Second Vatican Council, we want to contribute fully to the life of our church so that we may be a more effective sign of the kingdom of God. To do this, we believe that an atmosphere of openness and dialogue, both with each other and with our Bishops, needs developing. We desire to help create a climate of trust and respect for all where this dialogue may be fostered." Since the first national meeting in autumn 2012 there have been national conferences, in Leeds, Liverpool and London. Members of the local group attended. Website:  www.acalltoaction.org.uk  Local contact: Jackie Gleeson, Luton


Aid to the Church in Need
With over 7,000 projects every year in Eastern Europe and throughout the world, ACN is present today wherever the Church is poor or persecuted. ACN is directly under the Pope and relies entirely on the generosity of its supporters. Website: www.acnuk.org    Area Secretary: Michael Casey, Aylesbury.

Alpha Courses.
Friendly, low-key, meal-featuring introduction to Christianity for those new to/enquiring about the faith, or wanting a refresher on the basics. Not specifically Catholic in content although there are Catholic "add-ons". For information contact Eddie & Maureen Rodwell, Corby, or see the main Alpha website.

Archconfraternity of St Stephen. Support and training for altar servers. Director: Rev Deacon Peter Griffin, Wellingborough. See their website.

Association of lnterchurch Families
The Association offers a support network for interchurch families, where husband and wife are practising Christians committed to different Churches - usually a Catholic and a Christian of another communion. Diocesan contacts: Ian and Adrienne Gordon, Clophill, Beds: Rita & Mike Courthold, Hungerford, Berks: Beverley & Paul Hollins, Newport Pagnell. Website: www.interchurchfamilies.org.uk/

Association of Separated and Divorced Catholics
The Association is a lay organisation whose purpose is to provide spiritual and practical support for those separated or divorced, whatever their circumstances. Diocesan Representative: Henry Worthy, Northampton. Website: www.asdcengland.org.uk . Helpline number: 0113 264 0638. Secretary: Mrs C L Townsend, c/o 3 Windham Place, Scale Hall, Lancaster, LA1 5HA.  E-mail: cl.townsend@btinternet.com     

Beginning Experience
The Beginning Experience is an active lay ministry for people of all ages experiencing loss through bereavement, separation or divorce. Contact: Felicity Harrison, Northampton .

Catenian Association
An international brotherhood of Catholic business and professional men who meet socially, at least once a month, at local branches or "circles".
Chiltern Circle: (169). Secretary: Peter Curtis, Chesham.
Bedford Circle (177). Secretary: Mike Norton, Bedford
Luton Circle (216). Secretary: Mr Richard Daly, Hemel Hempstead.
Milton Keynes Circle (293). Secretary: Tony McManus, Gt Linford
Northampton Circle (35). Secretary: Eugene Sinnott, Wollaston
South Bucks Circle (124). Secretary: Gerald Cox, High Wycombe

National website: www.thecatenians.com/

CAFOD - Catholic Agency For Overseas Development 
The official overseas development and relief agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales ; member of the Caritas International Federation, a worldwide network of Catholic relief and development organisations.
Diocesan Manager: Deborah Purfield,, CAFOD Northampton, Ker Anna Centre, Aylesbury Road, Princes Risborough, HP27 0JW. Phone 01844 274723. E-mail: dpurfield@cafod.org.uk  Website: www.cafod.org.uk/northampton

Catholic Charismatic Renewal
A spontaneous work of the Holy Spirit in the Church whereby Catholics experience a renewal of their faith and Christian life, and the manifestation of further gifts of the Holy Spirit. To help people to experience and to grow in this renewal, there is a loosely organised network of Charismatic Prayer Groups (click here) and a National Service Team. Diocesan Contacts: Gerard and Toni Pomfret, Luton.

Catholic Women's League
The CWL promotes and supports charitable, educational and welfare work at parish, diocesan and national levels, unites Catholic women in bonds of friendship, trains and encourages members to use their talents and skills, and ensures Catholic representation of women's interests on national and international bodies. There are CWL sections in five parishes. Contact: President, Mrs Maureen Burrows, Chalfont St Peter: Secretary: Mrs Sue Arthur, Slough. Website: www.catholicwomensleague.org/

Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Christian CND is a specialist section of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament working with the Christian Churches. Christian CND states that the possession of and threat to use nuclear weapons is contrary to both international and moral law. South Midlands Regional Representative: Barbara Sunderland, Henlow, Beds.


Christian Life Community
Our Community is made up of small groups of people who meet regularly to help each other deepen their life of prayer, by sharing their experience of daily prayer, usually based on Scripture, and by seeking to recognise God's presence in each other's lives. Contacts for Midland Region: John and Margaret Partridge, Oxford

Engaged Encounter
See under Worldwide Marriage Encounter.

English Catholic History Association
The Association aims to advance the education of the public in English Catholic history, and helping to preserve documents. Regional Co-ordinator: Mrs Sheila Mawhood, High Wycombe. Website: www.echa.org.uk


Equipes Notre-Dame GB (formerly Teams of Our Lady) An international Catholic movement for Christian married couples. Founded in France just before WWII, Teams reached England in 1959. There are now over 150 teams in the UK and over 8,000 teams in more than 60 countries worldwide.Each team consists of 4 to 6 couples and a priest, sister or deacon as spiritual advisor, who meet monthly in one another's homes to share a simple meal, pray, study the Bible, and to share the joys and difficulties of married life. Teams exist at the following locations within the diocese: Aston-le-Walls, Bedford, Milton Keynes, Little Chalfont and Northampton. Anyone interested in joining Teams or requiring further information, contact Paul & Janet DeBoo, c/o Cathedral, Northampton. Website: www.TeamsGB.org.uk

Friends of the Venerabile. An Association founded in 1985 to support the Venerable English College in Rome, which trains some of our future priests. Contact Mike Lang. Their website here


The Grail
As a community centred on the Eucharist we are committed to sharing the Christian values that inspire us and bring to our lives a spirit of creativity, celebration and joy. The Grail offers forms of membership for single women, married couples and young adults. Website: www.grailsociety.org.uk     Diocesan Representative: Mrs Chris Drysdale, Peterborough.

Guadalupe, Our Lady Of: Home Shrine. A portable triptych intended for home use: over 300 families and individuals support the devotion ion our Diocese. For a visit to your parish, contact the Home Shrine Co-ordinator via St Josephs Parish, Bedford. Website here

Jesus Caritas Priests' Fraternity
The Fraternity is a loosely-organised international association for priests, based on the inspiration of the contemplative and fraternal spirituality of Charles de Foucauld. It consists of local, and deliberately small, groups - Fraternities - of priests, who aim to give personal and spiritual support to each other. There are two such fraternities in the Diocese: For further information contact: Fr John Danford, Leighton Buzzard.

Knights of St Columba
The Knights are a body of Catholic laymen who place themselves at the disposal of priests, parishes and the community. The activities cover a wide range of action, including spiritual events such as pilgrimages, retreats, rosary campaigns and fund raising. Website: www.ksc.org.uk
Northampton Province 38 - Provincial Grand Knight: Damien Reilly, Corby  
Aylesbury: Geoff Cox, Aylesbury. 

Bedford: Carish Field, Kempston

Bletchley and Mlton Keynes; Mike Smith, Emmerson Valley
Corby: Mr Jerome Savage, Corby
Dunstable: Justin Redmond, Dunstable.
Kettering: Daniel Cannon, Kettering,
Luton: Wesley Keeks, Luton,
Northampton: Eric Walls, Northampton
Thames Valley Province 23 - Provincial Grand Knight:  David Sole, Ducklington.
High Wycombe: Tom Barnes, High Wycombe

Legion of Mary
A worldwide lay organisation living and fulfilling the ideals of the Decree on the Lay Apostolate. Its objective is the spiritual formation of its members through a life of prayer and apostolic action under ecclesiastical guidance. Northampton Comitium President: Ms Wanda Leckie.  Our Lady of Guadalupe Curia (Northampton South): President, Judy Weekes, Luton

LIFE Pregnancy Care offers free pregnancy testing, counselling before and after abortion, and practical care (accommodation available). The LIFE National Helpline is available between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. every day on 0800 915 4600. See also website: www.lifecharity.org.uk  LIFE also offers temporary accommodation in its LIFE Houses in Aylesbury and Wycombe, and does talks for secondary and primary schools, and sixth-form conferences, to fit in with the National Curriculum. It also offers fertility advice - see the website www.lifefertilitycare.co.uk . Main Diocesan contact: Gill Duval, High Wycombe.

Maranatha Community
An interdenominational Christian Community dedicated to Unity, Renewal and Healing. Drawn from all the main Christian traditions, Maranatha members are committed to the life of their local churches. Nationally, Maranatha is actively working to reverse the decline in moral standards and to bring reconciliation to Northern Ireland. A Maranatha gathering of praise, prayer, sharing and healing is held at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Bedgrove, Aylesbury on the first Monday of each month except August at 8 p.m. Contact: Sr Bemadette Larkin, c/o the parish.

Marriage Care (Formerly CMAC)
Established in 1946 as the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council to support marriage and family life, Marriage Care provides marriage preparation courses, as well as confidential counselling for individuals or couples who experience marital or relationship difficulties. The service, which is offered by 65 centres in England and Wales, is free of charge, but clients are invited to make a contribution towards the cost of the service. Marriage Care also runs a National Telephone Helpline on 0845 660 6000 which operates from 11.00 am to 3.00 pm on Monday to Friday. Fertility UK is an associated service to couples who want information about fertility awareness and/or instruction in the use of natural methods of family planning. Website: www.FertilityUK.org.
Centres within the Northampton Diocese at Milton Keynes and Northampton (also offering local counselling in Daventry, Kettering and Corby). Chief Executive: Mr  Mark Molden: 020 73711341

Marriage Encounter
See under Worldwide Marriage Encounter.

The Missionaries of the Poor Supporters Association
This organisation, a registered charity, supports the Missionaries of the Poor by raising funds for their work with the poor and destitute who are living in parts of the world where there are insufficient resources, especially in Jamaica, India, the Philippines, Haiti, Uganda and Kenya. Chairman: Monica Basham, Piddington, Northants.  Website: www.mopsa.org.uk

National Board of Catholic Women
The National Board of Catholic Women is a forum, founded in 1939, in which Catholic women of England and Wales come together to share their views and concerns at diocesan and national level They work ecumenically, with women of other faiths and with secular groups at a national and international level to challenge discrimination and promote a woman's right to gender justice. Diocesan Link: Mrs Maura Potter, Burnham, Slough.

Natural Family Planning Teachers' Association
An education service offering instruction/counselling for women/couples. It teaches couples to understand and value their fertility and helps them to make responsible and informed choices about planning their family in accordance with the moral teaching of the Church. Fertility awareness is particularly valuable for couples with fertility problems. To learn more about NFP, please see their website www.nfpta.org.uk

NOAH Enterprise (New Opportunities and Horizons),
Provides support for the homeless and the socially excluded in Luton, including welfare training and work experience. This is combined with the recycling of donated furniture and other goods through dedicated retail outlets.
Welfare Services: 141 Park Street, Luton LU1 3HG. Tel: 01582 728416.  Website www.noahenterprise.org

Northampton Notre Dame Association
An association of former Notre Dame High School pupils.  Contact the President: : Mrs Margaret Bradbury, Old Duston, Northampton

Northampton Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart A lay organisation, founded in 1898, whose primary aim is the promotion of sobriety and temperance. Its chief means are prayer and self-sacrifice. Members pledge to abstain from all intoxicating liquor. Pioneer Centres at Northampton and Luton. International Website: http://www.pioneertotal.ie . Local contacts: Deidre Teevan, Northampton: Kathleen Kiernan, Luton

Our Lady's Catechists
An association of lay men and women who are qualified to give religious instruction. Provides a range of  postal courses. A Northampton group was launched in late October 2015.  Diocesan Representative: Mrs Jean White, Wendover. Website: www.ourladyscatechists.org

Prison Advice and Care trust (PACT) - formerly the Bourne trust. A Catholic charity benefitting prisoners, their families and ex-offenders. Website here

Pax Christi International Catholic movement for peace.
Pax Christi invites Catholics and all people of good will to become involved in prayer, study and action for peace. A Northampton group was launched in late October 2015. Diocesan Representative: Matt Jeziorski, Luton. 

Pro Lahore Dei (For the labour of God)
Pro Lahore Dei is an ecclesial movement with a radical fundamental option for the poorest of the poor. It is a covenant community whose members include Consecrated Virgins who give up everything up for the service of Christ in the poor and lonely, and married/unmarried volunteers from all works of life who work with the Consecrated Virgins. Contact: Sr. Theresa Aluko, Luton.  Website: www.prolaboredei.org

RAINBOWS for all God's Children
Rainbows is an international organisation which helps children, young people and adults through the grieving process that follows any significant loss, such as death, divorce or separation.
Rainbows G.B. Werneth Grange, Grange Avenue, Oldham OL8 4EL. Website: www.rainbowsgb.org

The Rosary Link for Vocations is a lay team, encouraged by the late Fr Damien Walne, Fr Mark Floody and the Bishop, who tour the Diocese visiting parishes to lead the praying of the Rosary for vocations, life, faith and family. This is usually preceded by an evening Mass and followed by Exposition. Contact via webmaster . We try to publish their meetings in our Events section ; they tend to happen in batches in April, June, September and December 

St Francis of Assisi Catholic Ramblers Club. Not a Diocesan group, but a London-based society of Catholics who enjoy a congenial walk in the Home Counties at weekends.... and as they quite often venture into Northampton Diocese, you might be interested to join up and be kept in touch with their plans. See their website or e-mail antoinette_adkins2000@yahoo.co.uk

St Thomas a Becket Foundation
The Foundation is a registered charity whose main aim is to make a positive difference to the disabled and their families by:
 - Providing support to individuals and their families, and to parishes of the Diocese.
 - Assisting and advising the Diocese in meeting its requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act.
 - Co-ordinating and supporting a network of parish representatives.
 - Developing pastoral services and the RE curriculum for children in special schools.
 - Ensuring that awareness of disabled people is maintained throughout the Diocese as a whole. 
Chairman: Rev Canon Kevin O'Driscoll, Langley, Slough. 

St Vincent de Paul Society (SVP)
The SVP is dedicated to helping those who are disadvantaged, neglected or in need, without discrimination. Members are all volunteers who help those in need through person to person contact, mainly by visiting people in their homes, in hospitals, prisons and other institutions. Membership in the diocese: over 400.  Number of parish groups: 41. President of Northampton Central Council: James Bellamy, Mears Ashby. National website: www.svp.org.uk/

Secular Franciscan Order
An international order of lay men and women founded by St Francis of Assisi and canonically established in 1221 to help people to live in the Franciscan spirit of detachment from earthly possessions. Members make a life-long commitment to a daily office, regular participation in the sacraments and regular attendance at the monthly community meetings. The Bedford Fraternity: Anne Simmonds, Bedford.

Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites
The Carmelite secular order is an association of lay people who pursue the path to holiness in the circumstances of their daily lives, inspired and assisted by the spirituality of the Teresian Charism. It is an integral part of the Carmelite family and is open to men and women, married and single. A group of Secular Carmelites meets at St Joseph's, Gerrards Cross on the second Saturday of each month. Contact: Rev Michael Spain OCD, Gerrards Cross

Society of St Gregory. The SSG is the national society for liturgy and music in the Roman Catholic Church in the British Isles. It was founded in 1929. The SSG aims to promote good practice in the celebration of the Liturgy of the Catholic Church by providing many opportunities for learning and developing the skills of musicians, readers and all involved in the Liturgy today. It does this through an annual Summer School, a Winter Assembly, the Composers Forum and the journal Music and Liturgy, which is published three times a year. This includes a liturgy planner for readers and musicians, and a free copy of Music and Liturgy, together with much more information, is available from the SSG website www.ssg.org.uk  Diocesan representative: Teresa Brown  Email northampton@ssg.org.uk . 

Walsingham Association
To promote true devotion to Our Lady of Walsingham, pilgrimages to Our Lady's National Shrine, and to support prayerfully the growth and development of the Shrine.
Diocesan Pilgrimage Director: Rev. Michael Fleming (Deacon), Northampton
Web site: www.walsingham.org.uk

Worldwide Marriage Encounter
Worldwide Marriage Encounter (W.W.M.E.) is a Catholic movement for couples and priests, whose 'Weekends' over the past 30 years have helped thousands of couples in the UK to bring new joy to their marriages, and to strengthen their foundations.
Our Weekends are held throughout the year at venues around the country and are mostly residential. The venues most easily reached from Northampton Diocese are Ross-on-Wye, Doncaster, and Kent. For more information, dates of weekends, or booking, contact via the website below.
“Engaged Encounter” weekends give engaged couples the opportunity to talk to each other about their future lives together, to share feelings, hopes and disappointments, joys and frustrations. Diocesan Contacts: Peter & Denise Johnson, Kettering. Website: www.wwme.org.uk

Young Christian Workers / Impact . An international movement for young people 13-30. Fostering an action-oriented link between faith and life. HQ at St Anthony's Presbytery, Trafford Partk, Manchester M17 1JF. Website here

Youth 2000
Youth 2000 is an international spiritual initiative of young people working in cooperation with clergy and religious to provide a series of retreats and spiritual events throughout Europe and other parts of the world. The principal aim is to draw young people (12 - 35) of any or no faith into the mystery and richness of God's love and his promise of eternal life. Website: http://www.youth2000.org.

Copyright 2017 by the Catholic Diocese of Northampton, Registered Charity No. 234091