Archbishop Vincent Nichols meets families in crisis

The Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, visited the Cardinal Hume Centre on his way to address a civil society summit in London today (Wednesday June 19).
Archbishop Nichols, patron of the Centre , met with families to discuss the difficulties they face in today’s economic climate.  He shared with them the points he would be making at the Summit on the importance of family values and how families are the building blocks of a stable society.  With the right support he said that families could fulfil their tremendous potential for good – teaching children values and commitment which they then go on to extend to the wider society.  He also emphasised the powerful and positive role father’s play in the lives of their children and acknowledged that they too need support.

The Archbishop heard first-hand from mothers at the Centre who told him how difficult it was for families to stay together when it is so hard to find affordable housing or to earn a living wage.   One woman explained how scared she was of the housing benefit cuts as this may mean that she will have to move out of London, transfer her children to new schools and live far away from her support network.

“What I’ve heard at the Cardinal Hume Centre confirms that family relationships – even when times are hard – are crucially important, as one lady said to me they are the glue of life.  I have had great encouragement today that people can learn from their family and wider community and that’s what forms the stable families of the future.  At the Centre you see vulnerability and fragility and the Centre becomes an extended family”, said Archbishop Nichols.

The Archbishop called on the Summit to identify the nature of the support families need. He suggested better and more affordable housing that would alleviate the pressure on family relationships caused by overcrowding and high rents and economic hardship.

Cathy Corcoran, Chief Executive of the Cardinal Hume Centre said:  “It was very encouraging for our clients to hear from the Archbishop today and talk to him about their hopes and fears.  It is pretty frightening for all of us to know that the worst is yet to come as the impact of welfare reform starts to bite more deeply.  It is very good to know that the Church is ready to participate in the public debate talking about the human cost of the cuts.”

If you would like to help vulnerable people, and families in poverty to escape the threat of homelessness – please support the Cardinal Hume Centre by making a donation today.