The Catholic Agency For Overseas Development (CAFOD), previously known as the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development, is the official aid agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales and is part of Caritas International, a group of over 160 Catholic agencies from around the world, known as the helping hand of the Church.

Across the world, CAFOD brings hope and compassion to poor communities, standing side by side with them to end poverty and injustice. CAFOD work with people of all faiths and none. Inspired by Scripture and Catholic Social Teaching, and the experiences and hopes of people living in poverty, CAFOD works for a safe, sustainable and peaceful world.

Catenian Association – Axminster Circle

The Catenian Association is an international body of 10,000 Catholic men who meet once a month in local ‘Circles’ to enjoy each other’s company and to encourage catholic family life, the practice of the faith and support for the Catholic Church at parish and diocesan level. Details are available on the Catenian website :

The Axminster Circle of the Association was inaugurated in April 1971. Formed originally in Axminster, it has for many years held its monthly meetings in a variety of locations in West Dorset, East Devon and South Somerset, reflecting the living area of the members.

As an organisation, the Circle does not become officially involved in the individual parishes within its catchment area, but all members are encouraged to play an active role in the life of their own respective parishes and we do sponsor an annual ‘Award of Excellence’ at St Catherine’s School.

Axminster Circle also supports young Catholics in various ways to encourage them to stay in touch with the Church, notably via a national Bursary Fund, which provides grants to enable young Catholics to undertake worthy projects, usually overseas, during their pre-university year. Children of all Catholic families are welcome to apply for sponsorship / funding and St Catherines has been successful in obtaining grants from the Fund. Full details and application forms can be found through the above website.

All practising Catholic men are eligible for membership and any parishioner interested in joining the Association should contact Kevin Lazenby (01308 423 135) or Ronnie Coatsworth (01308 422 923).

Catholic Women’s League

The Catholic Women’s League (CWL) was founded in 1906 by Margaret Fletcher. Her ideals were based on common fellowship, the promotion of religious, intellectual and social work and the encouragement of women to look beyond the family and be involved in parochial and world affairs.

For further details, please contact TBA.

Mary’s Meals

Mary’s Meals is a global movement supported by people from many walks of life and different backgrounds. Their mission is to enable people to offer their money, goods, skills, time, or prayer, and through this involvement, provide the most effective help to those suffering the effects of extreme poverty in the world’s poorest communities.