How does the NBCW listen to the views

          and concerns of Catholic women?

  •  The Diocesan Link, who is appointed by the bishop in consultation with women of the diocese and who usually works with a core group, provides opportunities for all women within the diocese to come together to share their faith, views and concerns. The Diocesan Link is a key person, providing the NBCW with the means of hearing the local voice and  of disseminating national information back to the diocese and women in the parishes.

  • In 1939 Cardinal Hinsley asked the Catholic Women's League, Union of Catholic Mothers and Catholic Girls Association to work together to co-ordinate their war effort. This became the National Board of Catholic Women.
  • In 1989 a Golden Jubilee Review highlighted the need to widen the networks to all Catholic women, not only those in organisations. Cardinal Hume wrote, "I would like to congratulate the NBCW on their recent review which has brought about such changes in its structures as to make It truly representative of Catholic women in England and Wales, including those women who do not belong to any organisation or association. The Bishops' Conference needs to hear from women about the concerns and views of women in the Church on topics which seem to women to be most crucial or fundamental"

What is the National Board of Catholic Women (NBCW)?




  • The NBCW is a forum, founded in 1939,  in which Catholic women of England and Wales come together to share their views and concerns at diocesan and national level.
  • Consultative body to the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales and consultative status with the United Nations (ECOSOC).


  •  Works nationally and internationally to challenge discrimination and promote a women's right to gender justice.

  • Actively promotes the presence, participation and responsibilites of Catholic women in the Church and society.

  • Represents the views and concerns of Catholic women to the Bishops' Conference and to the government.

  • Works  ecumenically with women of other faiths and with secular groups.

What does the NBCW do?



  • National organisations, with their particular interests and networks, bring an invaluable contribution to the work of the NBCW. Representatives from national Catholic organisations, Diocesan Links, agencies and other consultative bodies, meet together three times a year. The Standing Committees are open to women with experience relevant to current topics. 'Email correspondents' can also help broaden the consultation process.