Birmingham

Birmingham DIOCESAN BRANCH

Branch President: Mrs Rosaleen Norris
Vice-President and Branch Secretary: Mrs Helen Gannon
Minute Secretary: Mrs Eileen Sandy
Treasurer: Mrs Denise Poole

Chaplain: Father Brendan Carrick

If you would like more information on the Catholic Women’s League in Birmingham please contact: birmingham@cwlhq.org.uk

Sections: Alcester; Kenilworth; Kingswinford; Olton; Small Heath; Solihull; South Warwickshire; Stratford upon Avon; Studley; Witney; St.Michael’s Wolverhampton.  North Staffordshire Area – Cheadle; Cresswell; Wolstanton.  Hall Green, Pershore, Southam and Erdington are Small Sections.   There are14 direct members.

Birmingham Branch of the Catholic Women’s League was formed in 1910, with 137 members, under the Patronage of the Archbishop of Birmingham and the Presidency of the Countess of Denbigh.  In 1912 a CWL Charity Committee was established in Leamington and the Branch became known as Birmingham and Leamington Branch and numbered 469 members including 183 religious.  In 1914, the AGM of the League was held at the Midland Institute in Birmingham.  The hall was packed with many latecomers unable to gain admission.  By 1915 there were Sections in Walsall, Wolverhampton and Stourbridge.  In 1932, Birmingham became a Diocesan Branch, under the Presidency of Mrs A R Topham, with the agreement of Oxford, Wolverhampton and Coventry.  Before that time, Birmingham and City Branch had performed many of the functions of a Diocesan Branch. The Branch took great pride in the work that they did with the Woodville Maternity and Rescue Home which they supported and maintained.  It is interesting to note how very closely they worked with the Union of Catholic Mothers at that time, certainly in Birmingham Branch.  The Branch had 1879 members plus 85 junior members in 1932.
We hold a Study Morning every year usually in March, and this normally includes very interesting speakers and topical subjects. We also have our own Pilgrimage to Evesham and an Annual Joint Mass with the Union of Catholic Mothers at our Cathedral of St. Chad’s.We are proud to be able to claim that our founder, Margaret Fletcher, is a true product of our Archdiocese and is buried within the confines of Begbroke Priory in Oxford.

At the beginning of the 8th century, a Benedictine abbey was founded in Evesham by Bishop Egwin of Worcester, dedicated to Our Lady.  Legend has it that she appeared – in a tree full of blossom – to a simple swineheard named Eoves (from whom the town takes its name) who told Bishop Egwin who, arriving to investigate, was himself favoured with a vision of Our Lady who indicated her wish for a church to be built.  All that remains of a once great monastery is the Bell Tower.
Prayer to Our Lady of Evesham:  Virgin most holy, Mother of the Word Incarnate, Treasurer of Graces, Refuge of Sinners:  We fly to your maternal love with lively faith, and we ask you to obtain for us grace ever to do the will of God.  Into your most holy hands we commit the keeping of our hearts: beseeching you for health of soul and body, in the certain hope that you, our loving Mother, will hear our prayer.


www.birminghamdiocese.org.uk