Catholic Church’s largest charity adopts Jewish community’s model

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Catholic Church’s largest charity adopts Jewish community’s model

The Jewish Volunteering Network was behind the Caritas launch of the Catholic equivalent

The Pope prays at the Western Wall
The Pope prays at the Western Wall

The Catholic Church’s largest charity has adopted the Jewish community’s model for volunteering in what could be “a first” for the Jewish charity sector.

The Jewish Volunteering Network was behind the Caritas launch of the Catholic Volunteering Network on Tuesday evening in Euston, attended by senior clergy, including bishops.

It featured the launch of a new website to “match potential volunteers with volunteering opportunities and vice-versa”.

John Coleby director of Caritas Diocese of Westminster, adding he was delighted to be working with the JVN, which had “shared their knowledge, skills and experience to help us develop and progress”.

He added: “They’re coaching and mentoring us, and without their generosity and ambition, we would not be able to provide this. Our work is a concrete example of how different faith communities can share values and work together for the common good.”

The new Catholic Volunteering Service is “modelled very closely on the JVN and based on the same principles,” said JVN director Leonie Lewis, who said the launch was a landmark event in Jewish-Catholic relations.

“This could be a first in the Jewish charity sector. We believe our faiths and faith values have much in common and that we can deliver on certain programmes together that can make significant difference to our communities and particularly the wider UK community.”

Lewis also said there is “some preliminary discussion and interest from one or two Muslim-led projects to establish the Muslim Volunteering Network”.

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