A range of charities and organisations came together on 6 March at St Boniface House to discuss the upcoming Jubilee Year. The meeting was chaired by Fr James Barber, our diocesan Jubilee Coordinator.

Fr James noted the inspirational history of the jubilee – it goes back to 1300 – an  amazing 925 year long tradition! The Jubilee Year is one of the heartbeats of the church and we only get the opportunity to celebrate 2 or 3 in our lifetime. 

The meeting was called to discuss the six social action themes of the 2025 Jubilee : Care for Creation, Food Poverty, Modern Slavery, Managing Debt, Forgiveness and Rest. The meeting included representatives from Catholic Children’s Society (Plymouth), SVP, the Catenians, Legion of Mary, Love in Action Group (Plymouth Cathedral), CWL, CAFOD and the Caritas Diocese of Plymouth team.

The meeting shared the amazing range of activities already happening in the diocese around each of the Jubilee themes and reflected on how much is happening that we don’t get to hear about very often. Examples included events for Laudato Si’ week and Season of Creation on the theme of Care for our Common Home; diocesan work to reduce our carbon footprint; the great work of parishes and schools in caring for people and planet, including those working towards the CAFOD Live Simply Award; the contribution that parishes and charities are making towards directly addressing food poverty but also tackling the wider issues of poverty in our society including the issue of debt; the support we offer to foodbanks, soup runs, warm spaces and other activities targeting poverty and isolation. The Jubilee theme of Modern Slavery is an area where Caritas and CAFOD already raise awareness and advocate for change, and we discussed what more we can do to address this issue.  

The theme of rest led to discussions about reaching out to those who are isolated and lonely as well as considering how we can promote rest through prayer, reflection and pilgrimage.  The meeting discussed the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation; the vital work of our diocesan safeguarding team working with victims and survivors of abuse; how our diocese supports prisoners and their families.

The breadth of work happening through our parishes and groups was inspiring and filled us all with energy and hope.

What next?

The key priorities for the Jubilee year are Honouring and Celebrating; Complementarity and Cooperation; Local Action for Meaningful Change and Audaciousness. The meeting discussed activities happening during the year and how they might fit with the Jubilee Calendar  as well as exploring some new areas. This will form the basis for the next stage of planning.