The Work of the League

The Catholic Women’s League was founded in 1906 by Margaret Fletcher. The League encourages its members to work both in the parish and in the wider community. Members are also concerned with issues on a national and international level. To help keep members up to date on events the Health and Family Officer and the International Officer give reports at meetings and in CWL NEWS.

The League ensures members’ voices are heard in important social matters, particularly where the Bishops call for the support of the laity. CWL Officers keep members informed on Health & Family Concerns, on Justice and Peace Issues through our links with the National Board of Catholic Women and on issues affecting the marginalised in society at home and on the international scene, through membership of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations.
Our work with The National Board of Catholic Women helps in promoting the presence, participation and responsibilities of Catholic women in the Church and in society.

League members are  particularly committed to

Catechetical work through Our Lady’s Catechists

Support for refugees and asylum seekers through Relief and Refugee

Assisting past and present Services personnel through Services

Mrs Margaret Valentine International Liaison appointed 2014 retired to take the post of National President 2016

Margaret Valentine (left) and National President at work at the WUCWO World Assembly in Fatima October 2014

Margaret Valentine (left) and National President at work at the WUCWO World Assembly in Fatima October 2014 

After attending the National Conference of WUCWO in Fatima in October , I came back to the Officers Annual Meeting in Swanwick and asked the members to take on board this year two of the resolutions which were proposed.

The first one – The family

The second one- The Right to have access to drinking water and sanitation.

The family - the provision of assistance to single mothers and their children. Welcome them into our organisations, and advocating for policies to assist them.

Encourage governments to prohibit the practices of alteration, manipulation and treatment of human reproductive material that results in the destruction of human embryos.  The Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)

Helping new mothers in our parishes who perhaps don’t have any family near by. Also to make all families welcome in our own homes, places of work and in our parishes.


The right to have access to drinking water and sanitation

It is everyone’s human right to have clean water and proper sanitation. Helping children have clean, safe water in Africa and around the world.

Every minute, every day people suffer and lives are lost needlessly, because of a lack of safe water and sanitation. Help us end this global crisis and let us transform lives.

As little as-

£2 would buy a rainwater collection system

£5 A locally made hand pump for a village

£10 a well to reach water far below the ground.

Let us transform a life today.- Have a fund raising event in your parish . It would be good if any money raised for this purpose could be channelled through the branch treasurer onto the National Treasurer and we can go back to WUCWO and say that CWL England & Wales raised X number of pounds for this project, resolution, what ever you may wish to call it.

I know that many of you work tirelessly for CAFOD but if you could take this on board I would be most grateful.

CWL National Executive were able to give a grant of £10,000 to WaterAid, in support of the second resolution, in order to send aid to those involved in the earthquake in Nepal


Mrs Veronica Cross International Liaison (Retired 2014)

Veronica begins by explaining the origins of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organisations (WUCWO)

In 1910 it was suggested uniting leagues of Catholic women throughout the world, thus instituting the International Union of Catholic Women’s Leagues (UILFC) which became WUCWO in 1952. They held meetings until 1913 (during the war years of 1914/18 they ceased to function but kept in touch with the Vatican).  They met again in 1921 and until 1939 when again during the Second World War they ceased but continued working locally.  1947 saw the Eleventh International Congress which has continued to convene nearly every year since.  Presently, there are 92 organizations in 56 countries continuing activities in the service of women in society and in the Church.  ‘To evolve is to be faithful’ sums up what WUCWO has been trying to do for the past 90 years.
The principal areas of activity are to : promote the formation of women to meet contemporary challenges;  foster awareness and respect of cultural diversity; promote the Internationl dimension within its Member Organizations; co-ordinate activities of Member Organizations at international level; network with other international organizatgions and faith communities for the respect of human rights, especially  for women and to encourage ecumenical and interreligious dialogue.

There is  a monthly Message sent from the Secretary General in Paris, which this month relates to The Holy Father’s encouragement, during the week for Christian Unity, for everybody to continue this task with determination, generosity and courage. WUCWO voted at their last General Assembly that they decided to ‘establish permanent relations with the representatives and organisations from different faiths at the international and regional level.

I would commend you to  take the WUCWO’S  ’Women’s Voice’ booklet which was first published in 1910 and which is now produced three times a year.  It keeps us up-to-date with all the fantastic work undertaken by women all over the world.  The last publication headed ‘Education: A Pathway of Love and Trust’ looks at matters concerning education agents; that is, all those institutions and places where we women are  involved in the process of teaching and learning.

Our WUCWO Day of Prayer is on 13th May and a wonderful service is prepared by the women of a different Region, each year.

Also, I would mention that the Women’s World Day of Prayer held each year on the first Friday in March.  This service is an interfaith service for all to come together in prayer and is prepared, each year, by a different country. See your local churches for details of the Service.


International/Liason to WUCWO

Parliamentary Observer

We keep members informed of relevant issues which need their individual support in order to protect the Catholic view in Parliamentary debates and legislation. Members can contact their Member of Parliament, on any issue they feel is personally important to them.
The full list of the current members of both Houses has been completed and the details of Her Majesty’s Government and Opposition, as well as Select Committees, are all available.
They can be accessed on www.parliament.uk .

Here are a few hints to assist you :

Why write
– your one letter counts
- it is better than a standard letter or a signed petition
- it influences politics and polices
-it expresses opinions
When to write
-after introduction of a bill
-early in parliamentary sessions
-anytime you have a concern
What to write
your name, address, postal code, date
-refer to the bill under discussion
-the issue/concern you are addressing
-your opinions and feelings on the issue
-action you want  and a question requiring an answer.
How to write
-in a positive ,constructive, polite tone
-brief and concise, one page is enough
-be specific, choose one point only
-as an individual, no copied or format letters and in your own words
-end with a clear and realistic request.
Where and to whom to write
-to government national and local: from Prime Minister downwards, cabinet ministers, your local MP, local councillors,  etc.
-other persons in authority: church, business, education authority and schools, professions and other organisations.