Archbishop Nichols to address civil society leaders at Citizens UK summit

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The President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Archbishop Vincent Nichols, will address Britain’s faith, education and third sector leaders at a civil society summit hosted by Citizens UK. The Planning Ahead for a Generation summit takes place on Wednesday 19 June at Queen Mary, University of London.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols’ speech will initiate a discussion with faith and civic leaders about how their respective national networks can work together to address shared concerns, building towards a coordinated effort to influence the next General Election. They will also plan a new wave of social action for the next decade and beyond, using Community Organising – a process where communities are empowered to make positive change through working with others for the common good.

The Archbishop will meet leaders from a diverse range of faith communities, including Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, Farooq Murad, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain, and the senior rabbis of the Reform, Masorti and Liberal movements of Judaism. He will also be joined by leaders from schools, universities, NGOs and trade unions.

Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols said:

“This summit is an opportunity to strengthen civil society and revitalise politics, through a renewed commitment to the common good. Our faith calls us to take action for justice and peace. By working with Citizens UK, Catholics can help build trust in society and improve the lives of families across the country.”

Neil Jameson, Executive Director of Citizens UK said:

“Citizens UK has a 25 year track record of building diverse local alliances through Community Organising. The Catholic Church has a strong tradition of positive action, alongside other faiths, for the common good. We are delighted that Archbishop Vincent Nichols is participating in the Citizens UK summit and look forward to working with him launch a new wave of action.”

Citizens UK

Citizens UK is the national home of Community Organising and umbrella body for local “Citizens” alliances in London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Milton Keynes and Nottingham.

Citizens UK has a membership of over 300 civil society institutions, including schools, churches, synagogues, mosques, diaspora groups, charities and universities – who work together for the common good. Citizens UK is the largest civil society alliance in Europe.

Citizens UK exists to strengthen civil society and increase the participation of ordinary people in public life. The organisation does this through Community Organising – the art of building relationships across diverse communities, developing leaders and taking action on issues of concern.

Significant achievements

  • Launched the Living Wage Campaign, which has won over £210m worth of wages for the lowest paid and seen over 200 businesses accredited with the Living Wage Employer mark.

  • Opened over 300 CitySafe Havens for young people seeking refuge from danger.

  • Established the UK’s first urban community land trust, providing permanently affordable housing in the East End of London.

  • Ended the detention of children for immigration purposes at centres such as Yarl’s Wood.

  • Organised a General Election Assembly on May 5th 2010 – the largest and most exciting public event of the campaign and the only one to feature all 3 party leaders on the same platform.

Archbishop of Westminster

The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, is President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

The Archdiocese of Westminster comprises the Greater London Boroughs north of the Thames and west of Waltham Forest and Newham, plus the districts of Staines and Sunbury-on-Thames, and the county of Hertfordshire. There are over half a million Catholics in the Archdiocese; over 200 parishes and over 200 Catholic schools.

The Archbishop was born in Crosby, Liverpool in 1945, ordained priest in 1969, ordained auxiliary Bishop of Westminster in 1992 and installed as Archbishop of Birmingham in 2000. He was installed as Archbishop of Westminster on 21 May 2009. In 2010 he welcomed Pope Benedict XVI on his State Visit to the UK.

Official website


Tom Chigbo
London Citizens