IMG_1185Welcome to the Clifton Branch of the Catholic Women’s League.
Founded in 1909


 Clifton Direct Sections are in the following parishes -  Holy Rood, Swindon;
Sacred Hearts, Cheltenham;
St. Augustine’s, Bristol and St. Joseph & St. Teresa, Wells.

 Each Section functions independently but all come under the umbrella of The National Executive. We meet on a monthly basis and are involved in a wide range of activities from spiritual retreats to community projects. Sections are involved in their parishes and the wider community through ecumenical and inter-faith groups, prayer groups, Women’s World Day of Prayer, supporting local food banks and charity fund raising for local, national and international charities. We have been working in partnership with CAFOD since they started working in the diocese 27 years ago.

As well as each Section meeting and working individually we meet up together during the year.  This year members have been on a guided tour of Wells Cathedral, will attend the CWL National Pilgrimage to Westminster Cathedral in July and ‘Spend A Day With Mary’ at Prinknash Abbey as part of The Year of Mercy.

If you are interested in joining any of our Sections or would like to know more about  our work please contact

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Members of Clifton at the National AGM, Scarborough October 2013


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Members of Holy Rood Section at the
Glastonbury Pilgrimage
July 13th 2014

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Members of Holy Rood Section at the
Glastonbury Pilgrimage
July 13th 2014

A little of our history:

Originally known as the Bristol Branch and opened through the efforts of Mrs Austin King. The first President (1909-1928) was Mrs Charles Hill and there were 32 members.
In 1934 Bishop Lee of Clifton wanted to establish 3 new areas in the Diocese. He wished for the formation of the CWL in each parish and urged members to be actively involved in parish life. A leaflet “Eight reasons to join the CWL” was sent to every parish.
In 1964 National Council was held at Weston –Super-Mare and 1979 at Bristol. In 1983 Clifton Branch became associated with the Canadian CWL following the visit of one of our members, Pat Simmons. The Canadian flag presented was displayed at meetings.

Past Activities: At the outbreak of WWI Mrs Austin King, together with a committee of CWL members, had prepared a house for 13 refugees from Belgium. Active support for Relief and Refugee is still an important part of our work today. Canteens were also set up for servicemen, in the Wylie Valley. There was a special CWL Clifton Diocesan Hut at Larkhill Camp.

Camps to provide holidays for children were set up through the work of Miss Kitty Morrissey, by the CWL working with seminarians, teachers, students and supported by Bishop Alexander. These camps were held at Lechlade, Charlton Kings, Cricklade, Downside, Langport, Shaftesbury and Nympsfield and CWL members did most of the catering. The last camp was held in 1997.

Section members are involved in numerous groups, such as the Cheltenham Inter- Faith Group, the Women’s World Day of Prayer committee (Bristol and Bridgwater) and the St. Peregrine Group (Holy Rood Swindon) who meet to pray for all cancer sufferers.


Elizabeth Macnamara,  with a member of CWL and of UCM


CWL members at the Diocesan Family Day