Closer to Christ Campaign


An introductory message from Bishop Philip

"Bringing people closer to Jesus Christ through His Church"

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Following much prayer, consideration and consultation with clergy and laity, we have embarked on a new fundraising initiative entitled Closer to Christ.


This exciting initiative will build upon the mission of our Diocese, enabling us to continue our journey to become ever more outward facing and evangelistic, while supporting our local parishes, who are the backbone of our Church.

The campaign will take place over the next two years, with every parish playing their collective part in raising £13.5 million. This funding will be absolutely vital in supporting two key priority areas:

Clergy, through all stages of ministry


assisting our men in training for the priesthood

The seminarian must be open to hearing the Lord’s call in his life and be eager to respond to it. Seminary is a place to study but is (more importantly) where men test and formally discern their vocation to the priesthood, with the help of the Church.


The Diocese currently has 13 men in formation for the priesthood, two of whom will be ordained in 2021. Seminary formation takes between six and seven years to priestly ordination, at a cost of £30,000 per annum.


As the current cohort of priests age, the demand for more young men to come forward and dedicate their lives to the mission and service of the Church will only increase and therefore so will the requirement to resource their formation financially. 

"Go, make disciples of all nations"

Matthew 28: 19


Supporting our clergy to be Happy, Healthy and Holy

Ensuring our priests have the necessary care and resources in place throughout their lives is essential to their evolvement.


To be better prepared for the future and to find new ways to serve our people, it is important that our priests can carry on with their development and growth to meet the growing demands made on them.


The Closer to Christ Campaign will enable us to provide an appropriate level of support and on-going formation to these men who give their lives to the Church. 

"The priesthood is the love of the heart of Jesus"

St Jean Marie Vianney


providing for our retired priests following a lifetime of ministry

While most priests retire at the age of 75, many remain very active, continuing to serve their communities, working in our parishes, schools and chaplaincies. We have a responsibility to our priests.


It is our duty to make certain that no priest is worried about meeting essential costs during their senior years, so they can enjoy their well-deserved retirement.

With 49 priests currently in retirement and with an additional 30 retirees over the next decade, it is critical that extra resources are provided

"He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood, lives in me, and I live in him"

John 6:55-56

Reviving and Enabling our local parish communities


reviving and enabling the parish

Reviving our Local Parish Communities, enabling parishes to become financially sound and adequately resourced to enable the laity, supported by clergy, to maximise the impact of the local parish vision.

"He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood, lives in me, and I live in him"

John 6:55-56


 To support the campaign a Fundraising and Stewardship Committee (made up of clergy, trustees, senior leadership and laity drawn from across the Diocese) has been established to ensure that there is a high level of transparency, accountability and communication regarding this. This group is guided by formal campaign policies that govern the expenditure of monies.

The Closer to Christ Campaign provides an occasion not only to meet some of the urgent needs of the present but to leave a lasting impact for generations still to come.


We firmly believe that this will lay the foundations for strategic growth in the future and in so doing, help us to realise our mission of ‘Bringing People Closer to Jesus Christ through His Church’.

We look forward to keeping you up to date with the impact of your support.

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