Formation of the St Thomas More Circle
In 2020, the Catholic Union of Great Britain will reach its 150th anniversary. Founded in 1870 by the Duke of Norfolk and other Catholic peers, the aim of the Catholic Union is to provide a voice for Catholic lay people through sensible, balanced and informed contributions to public debate and legislation.
The Union brings together the expertise of the laity with Catholic members of both Houses of Parliament. The Union has consultative status to the Bishops Conference of England and Wales. The Union has the potential to make a vital contribution to the national conversation.
The need for an organisation such as the Union is pressing. There is widespread sympathy and respect for the Catholic viewpoint in our Nation yet is it often not heard or considered seriously. Help us to put this right. The Council has formed an Action Plan to enable the Union to make a greater impact in the Public Square.
What is the aim of the Action Plan?
The Union’s success in providing a clear voice in Parliament (and more widely) for Catholics is limited by critical resources. In order to truly succeed for Catholics in the country, the Union must be able to draw on not only our professionals and experts who give so much on a voluntary basis but also on the services of paid specialists. In fact, apart from our part-time Director, all our expertise is received pro bono.
This is something of which to be proud and it indicates the esteem that our current and recent Chairmen and Presidents are held in. However, in the Public Square today, we are faced with campaigning opponents taking the form of organised political and ideological pressure groups which are well funded and mobilised. In order to have any chance of achieving real influence we will need to recruit three members of staff as follows:
- A full-time Director
- A full-time Public Affairs Specialist
- A full-time Membership Secretary & Events Organiser
How much will it cost to fund the salaries of these new members of staff for five years?
The Union needs to raise at least £125,000 annually to fund the salaries. The Council believes that making provision for five years initially will give our prospective colleagues the opportunity to make their mark confidently and effectively.
How will these funds be raised?
It has been decided that funding should be raised through a new category of membership. It will be known as The St Thomas More Circle, named after the Union’s Patron Saint. Membership of the Circle may be taken up at either Benefactor or Supporter level:
St Thomas More Circle Benefactors (minimum annual donation of £5,000 for five years)
Benefactors will be invited to attend the St Thomas More Circle Annual Dinner and the St Thomas More Circle Annual Mass and Reception.
St Thomas More Circle Supporters (minimum annual donation of £1,000 for five years)
Supporters will be invited to the St Thomas More Circle Annual Mass and Reception.
We are seeking a minimum of 25 Benefactors and 25 Supporters. I would be pleased to hear from you if you may be able to help the Union in this way or have questions about the Action Plan. Please contact me via the form below.
Thank you for considering this appeal and, most importantly, please keep the Union in your prayers.
With best wishes
If you would like to join the Union as a member of The St Thomas More Circle or have questions about the Action Plan, then please complete the form below.