A new charitable initiative is helping those who wish to leave a gift to a Catholic charity in their wills to do so.

With the support of the Catholic leadership in England and Wales, “Your Catholic Legacy” comprises 13 leading Catholic charities which together are aiming to raise awareness of the huge benefit that leaving a gift in a will can have for the world’s most needy people.

“Legacies play a crucial role in funding the work of Catholic charities,” said Southwark Archbishop Peter Smith, patron of Your Catholic Legacy. “No matter how big or small, a charitable gift in your will brings hope to poor communities across the globe, enables the sharing of God’s love and provides those in greatest need with a vital lifeline.” 

The charities involved in the Your Catholic Legacy initiative, including the Cardinal Hume Centre, CAFOD, Saint Vincent de Paul Society and the Society of the Little Flower, received 622 gifts from wills in the last financial year, making up an average of 10% of their donations.

Legacy gifts can assist in the care of the needy in a variety of ways. For instance: £170 left in a will allows the Cardinal Hume Centre to pay for essential food, toiletries and bedding for eight young homeless people when they arrive in the hostel; 1 in 8 of the people CAFOD helps each year is aided by legacy gifts; and Missio is currently using a legacy gift to build a chapel in a hospital in Zimbabwe, so that sick patients no longer have to shelter under a tree in order to attend Mass. 

Other charities on the list of beneficiaries, in addition to the aforementioned, include: The Catholic Trust for England and Wales, Aid to the Church in Need, Apostleship of the Sea, Columban Missionaries, HCPT – The Pilgrimage Trust, The Passage, PACT, Progressio,  and Saint Vincent de Paul Society (England and Wales).

Legacy gifts cannot be left directly to Your Catholic Legacy. However, one or more of the 13 charities can be named as beneficiaries in a will.

For more information on leaving a legacy gift: yourcatholiclegacy.org.uk.