Northampton DIOCESAN BRANCH – Founded 1953
President: Mrs Louise Dance
Treasurer: Mrs Eileen Carkett
Secretary: Mrs Sue Arthur
Chaplain: Father Robert Davies ODC
Northampton Branch now comprises four Sections: Aylesbury, Bedford Brickhill, Burnham and Gerrards Cross. We also have Direct Members who relate directly to the Branch Officers, as they do not live within the area of a section. If you would like more information on the Catholic Women’s League in Northampton then please contact email@example.com
Northampton Branch, covering a large area of East England, was founded in 1953. However, the diocese was reorganized in 1976 and East Anglia Diocese was formed from the counties of Cambridge, Suffolk and Norfolk. The inaugural meeting of the reorganized branch was held in January 1977.
The present Bishop of Northampton, Rt. Reverend Peter Doyle, is also the National CWL Spiritual Advisor. He is a great support for us and has celebrated Mass at our Branch AGM. Our new Branch Chaplain, Father Bob Davies O.D.C. celebrated Mass for the first time at our Branch Meeting in January 2012.
Apart from the AGM, we hold four Branch meetings during the year to which all members are invited. In September/October Branch and Section Officers get together also.
At our November meeting we remember past members.
During Lent, we hold a Retreat Day for members and friends at Douai Abbey in Berkshire.
We also join members from East Anglia, Arundel and Brighton, Southwark and Westminster on a Pilgrimage, in June, to the Carmelite Priory in Aylesford, Kent.
We are looking forward to the National AGM to be held this year, in September, at Warwick University.
In July 2011 we visited the Diocesan Shrine, a beautiful Icon of Our Lady set in gold, at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour Church in Great Billing, Northants. We had a wonderful day and were warmly greeted by Father Damian. We heard the fascinated history of the Icon and the Elwes family who gave the church, converted from the village classroom. The Honourable Lady Winifred Elwes was a National President of the CWL during the Second World War and so we felt a close affiliation with the church.
Sections’ monthly meetings include a presentation by speakers on a variety of topics or a visit to a local place of interest. One visit was to Stonor Park, which had been in a Catholic family home for over 800 years. The chapel had artefacts given by famous people over a period of time. We hold fund raising events for Section funds, CWL Charities, e.g. the Relief and Refugee Fund and Services, as well as local and other charities. One of our Section Chairman’s brother was a missionary in El Salvador and the family have several projects in his memory which are supported by her parish. We also support CAFOD and Fairtrade. A past Branch President holds regular sales of Traidcraft goods in her parish, which has recently received the Fairtrade certificate.
You are very welcome to attend a Section meeting. Just contact one of the Branch Officers so that we can arrange for a member to meet you.