The National Board of Catholic Women
National Board of Catholic Women has had links with The Newman Association
for a long time and has a strong theological base. The Association uses its wide
network to give active support to the NBCW's work. The Board provides the
Association with women's perspectives on theological issues and spirituality.
The Newman Association values the Board's links with national Catholic
bodies; and its membership of secular organisations such as the National
Council of Women helps to ensure that the informed views of Catholic women
are heard in secular society.
The National Board of Catholic Women actively seeks to
promote the presence, participation and responsibilities of Catholic women in
the Church and society in order to enable them to fulfil their evangelical mission and to work for the Common Good. It is a
forum in which Catholic Women in England and Wales (members of Catholic
organisations and other women representatives of diocesan structures) exchange
experience, express their hopes and concerns and make recommendations on the
life and mission of the Church. It forwards to Government and others,
submissions dealing with matters of public interest and concern.
- What is the NBCW?
The NBCW 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.
- Consultative body
to the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales and consultative status
with the United Nations (ECOSOC).
- In 1939 Cardinal
Hinsley asked the Catholic Women's League, Union of Catholic Mothers and
Catholic Girls Association to work together to co-ordinate their war
effort. This became the National Board of Catholic Women.
- In 1989 a Golden
Jubilee Review highlighted the need to widen the networks to all Catholic
women, not only those in organisations. Cardinal Hume wrote, "I would
like to congratulate the NBCW on their recent review which has brought
about such changes in its structures as to make it truly representative of
Catholic women in England and Wales, including those women who do not
belong to any organisation or association. The Bishops' Conference needs
to hear from women about the concerns and views of women in the Church on
topics which seem to women to be most crucial or fundamental"
- What do we do?
Works nationally and internationally to challenge discrimination
and promote a women's right to gender justice.
Actively promotes the presence, participation and responsibilities of
Catholic women in the Church and society.
How do we
Represents the views and concerns of Catholic women to the Bishops'
Conference and to the government.
Works ecumenically with women of other faiths and with secular
- The Diocesan
Link, who is appointed by the bishop in consultation with women of the
diocese and who usually works with a core group, provides opportunities
for all women within the diocese to come together to share their faith,
views and concerns. The Diocesan Link is a key person, providing the NBCW
with the means of hearing the local voice and of disseminating
national information back to the diocese and women in the parishes.
organisations, with their particular interests and networks, bring an
invaluable contribution to the work of the NBCW. Representatives from
national Catholic organisations, Diocesan Links, agencies and other
consultative bodies, meet together three times a year. The Standing
Committees are open to women with experience relevant to current topics.
'Email correspondents' can also help broaden the consultation process.
List of Intentions the Pope wants to focus on for the month of March