084612 1580e28477c04dc6adb9c6dd8a5358e7 mv2

What is Caritas?

“Caritas” is the practical expression of Christian love; a special grace received in Baptism, the fire of the Father’s love for us and in us” ​

Caritas Portsmouth works at grassroots level through our parish communities. Inspired by Catholic faith, Caritas is the helping hand of the Church – reaching out to the poor, vulnerable and excluded, regardless of race or religion, to build a world based on justice and fraternal love.

How We Do It?

We look for opportunities where the need is greatest and where there is no service provision, or where there are gaps in service provision. Caritas develops and proves pilot projects in the social justice and environment arenas, working with the most vulnerable groups and individuals in need, with people of any faith and of no faith.

Parishes and Local Organisations

Caritas helps parishes identify the needs in the local community, looking to fill gaps in the existing support networks to make sure no one is forgotten. This might be through provision of hot meals, food, welcoming new arrivals, people struggling with financial insecurity or socially isolated.

Caritas also works with third party organisations who can bring their expertise to create a partnership, making the best use of resources and skills to reach those most in need.


Caritas partners with schools within the Diocese to support environmental and social action projects. We encourage students to learn more about the communities and areas around them and look at ways in which they can respond to specific needs in line with Catholic Social Teaching. This is done through a mix of assemblies, workshops and consultation exercises to engage students and identify specific areas of interest. This is then followed with concrete action through the development of projects based on their ideas and needs.

Caritas Ambassador Network

Caritas is building a network of social action and environment volunteer ambassadors to enable information and best practice sharing and opportunities for learning, discussion and formation.

This network will also make it possible to respond to unexpected needs that arise quickly, either across the diocese or in specific areas. If you are interested in volunteering with Caritas, please email caritas@portsmouthdiocese.org.uk

Caring for Creation

We use our environmental role, that of promoting “Care for Creation”, and the integral human ecological conversion that is necessary for us, as Christians, to understand the connection between “the cry of the poor and the cry of the earth” … we use this environmental role to join up, on a day-to-day basis, in direct action projects, concern for the environment with our social justice work.

We also work in the communication arena, advocating the concepts and themes of Catholic Social Teaching (social justice and environment) here within the Diocese of Portsmouth and wider in our geographic area. We work with other Diocesan departments, CAFOD and Laudato Si groups to alter our organisation’s structural behaviour, looking at ethical investment, at greening up the diocesan estates, at transport policies and at energy consumption. We work with other Diocesan departments, CAFOD and Laudato Si groups to alter individual behaviours, in providing best practice guidance to parishioners, and others outside the Catholic Church, on environment and social action changes.

Oaklands Orchard planting 1

For more information on our projects and how you can support please visit our website.