New charitable group launches to help Catholics consider their legacy

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A new charitable group has launched this week to encourage Catholics to leave a gift in their will to charity, as organisations report that inflation is impacting how many vulnerable people they’re able to reach through their work.

Endorsed by 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 to the world’s most needy people. Currently only around 5% Source: Legacy Foresight ‘Legacy Market Snapshot 2013’ of people leave a gift in their will to charity – also known as a legacy – but the real impact of these gifts has fallen by 11% Legacy Foresight research suggests the value of UK charitable legacies has risen by 5% (2007-2012) but the real value of these gifts has dropped by 11% over the last five years due to inflation, meaning fewer people can be helped without more funds being raised.

The charities involved in the Your Catholic Legacy initiative, which includes 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 income. The impact of these gifts can be huge: £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, while 1 in 8 of the people CAFOD helps each year is down to legacy gifts. 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 hear mass.

Archbishop Peter Smith, patron to Your Catholic Legacy, said: “Legacies play a crucial role in funding the work of Catholic charities. 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.”

While legacies cannot be left directly to Your Catholic Legacy, any or a combination of the 13 charities can be named as beneficiaries in a will. Readers keen to find out more can visit the group’s newly launched website at


Your Catholic Legacy is made up of 13 charities: The Catholic Trust for England and Wales, Aid to the Church in Need, Apostleship of the Sea, CAFOD, The Cardinal Hume Centre, Columban Missionaries, HCPT – The Pilgrimage Trust, Missio, The Passage, PACT, Progressio, Society of the Little Flower and Saint Vincent de Paul Society (England and Wales).

The charities in Your Catholic Legacy save and change lives every single day. Whether helping homeless people, seafarers, prisoners, children with disabilities, low income families here in the UK, or providing practical survival solutions and sharing God’s love with communities around the world; these organisations provide vital services to some of the poorest and most vulnerable members of society.

You can find out more about leaving a Catholic legacy at