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Tributes paid as Jacinta leaves Caritas East Anglia

Bishop Alan Hopes has paid tribute to Jacinta Welch, the Caritas East Anglia Development Worker, after her role finished at the end of its three-year contract.

As this position is no longer funded from outside sources, Diocesan Trustees, with regret, have decided that the Diocese cannot support the role going forward.

“I am grateful for all that Jacinta has been able to achieve during the past three years and I wish her well for the future,” said Bishop Alan.

Caritas administrator, Dr David Livesey, said: “One of Jacinta’s achievements was raising awareness, via articles for the diocesan newspaper, of the Catholic Social Teaching which underpins the work of Caritas. Particularly that it goes well beyond acts of charity to include an injunction to accompany the poor and marginalised and to empower them to voice their lived experiences.

“Accordingly, when Caritas East Anglia was launched on the World Day of the Poor, in November 2019, the homeless of Norwich were welcomed to the party. Also, unique to this diocese, were the two online synodal meetings which she organised and widely publicised via personal contacts, interviews on local radio stations – to invite all those who could not cross the threshold to join a parish event.”

About these, Jacinta said: “These were particularly satisfying parts of my work. It gave me great joy to welcome participants to these events, which were appreciated by those who felt forgotten. There is so much more that can be done to welcome these people and walk with them.”

Fr John Warrington, chair of Caritas East Anglia, said: “Another important thing that Jacinta did, and which the Commission will continue, was to identify the varied and diverse ways in which at the local level the work of Caritas is being undertaken throughout the diocese on the initiative of individuals. Some of those initiatives are now catalogued, as 150 Caritas News stories on the diocesan website, not so much to celebrate the achievements but more to encourage awareness of local needs and to demonstrate that launching small new parochial initiatives leads to important benefits in the lives of others.”

Jacinta said: “As I move on from Caritas East Anglia, I can reflect on the many blessings that God has given me in this time.  I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve within the diocese, to work closely with those serving us in ordained ministry.  I’m sorry that the pandemic prevented me from travelling to meet more of you.

“I would like to thank all the good priests and lay faithful of our wonderful diocese, who have supported our work.  I would also like to thank the Caritas Parish Contacts – those who have been a point of contact in parishes, sharing and passing on information and inspiration.  You are a vital part of our work.”

Click here for latest news from Caritas East Anglia.

Pictured top is Jacinta Welch, centre front, with some of the Caritas East Anglia team.